City Councilmember and Performance Critic Laud Shen Yun

January 13, 2014 Updated: January 13, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO—Paula and Robert McConnell had an enjoyable cultural experience seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco, Jan. 11.

Mr. McConnell is a councilmember for the City of Vallejo and runs his own law firm. Being heavily involved in his local government and having 40 years of experience practicing law, Mr. McConnell was glad to see New York-based Shen Yun touch on China not only in terms of the ancient dynasties, but modern day China as well.

Mrs. McConnell, who used to perform on television and stage, and was an on-air host in San Francisco, now writes a regular performance review column for her local paper. For anyone wanting a cultural and international experience, Mrs. McConnell said she was sure to be highly recommending Shen Yun.

“It was very beautiful,” said. Mrs. McConnell. “The costumes were outstanding; I would highly recommend it. A wonderful mix … of music, of dance.”

Through the performing arts, Shen Yun revives 5,000 years of Chinese civilization. The company has been touring internationally for eight years now.

As a performer herself, Mrs. McConnell deeply admired the hard work the performers put into the production, and noted many unique aspects like the orchestra blending East and West, and the digital backdrop.

“I liked the animation, the theatrics of the animation and the stagecraft,” Mrs. McConnell said. “Brilliant, brilliant.”

Mr. McConnell, a great lover of music, had noticed the blending of traditional Chinese instruments like the erhu and pipa into a full Western symphony, and enjoyed how well they blended.

“I thought it was very well done,” Mr. McConnell said.

Mr. McConnell is a native San Franciscan, and the couple is very familiar with the Chinese culture being from the Bay Area, he said. And what Shen Yun presented was a side of China seldom seen.

China was once known as the land of the divine, but the traditional culture was once almost lost under the current communist regime in China.

“There’s a very spiritual part of it and there’s a very loving part of it,” Mrs. McConnell said.

As the emcees explained, the belief that heaven, earth, and humankind are connected is one found throughout the dynasties. In Shen Yun’s mini-dramas, stories also touched on the belief being carried into the modern day.

“It was a historic review and I do think it covered the historical part of Chinese culture and the suppression that’s going on now, the tragedy of the suppression,” Mrs. McConnell. “It illuminates that; it brings it to the public.”

Reporting by Qian Zhang and Catherine Yang

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit Shen Yun Performing Arts.

The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.