DETROIT—Being in the clothing manufacturing business, Greg and Tammy Stemas were struck by the colours in the wide variety of costumes displayed in Shen Yun Performing Arts’ opening show at the Detroit Opera House, on Feb. 6.
“I was just focusing on the colors and the strong contrasts. … The subtleness seemed to be underneath and then on the top [the costumes] would have these very dramatic contrasts—just very colorful. It’s a little inspiring,” said Mr Stemas.
“The colors are awesome,” said his wife. “The colors are beautiful and inspiring.”
The couple owns Brightly Twisted, a small clothing manufacturing company that specializes in hand-dyeing fabrics for high-end stores.
According to the Shen Yun website, “Every costume in a Shen Yun performance is presented with brilliant colors, displaying a splendid spectacle—from the Tang Dynasty’s ‘Raiment of Rainbows and Feathers’ to imperial dragon robes, phoenix coronets, and cloud capes.”
“It’s bright and vibrant, really pretty. There’s a contrast—soft and mellow and then really bright colors too. It’s nice,” Mrs. Stemas said. “The fabrics they use—it’s great.”
New York-based Shen Yun travels the globe presenting 5,000 years of divinely inspired culture through music and dance. The company is known particularly for its classical Chinese dance, an art form from ancient China that has been refined and developed over the country’s 5,000-year history.
“I loved the dancing,” said Mrs. Stemas.
Mr. Stemas liked the difficult flips, turn, and leaps, which are one aspect of classical Chinese dance. He particularly enjoyed “When Play Turns to Panic” and “Ne Zha Churns the Sea,” which tells the story of a young boy with supernormal powers who kills the evil Dragon King that had been terrorizing villagers.
“The young boy with the red dragon—that one really caught my attention. It was pretty playful.”
Mrs. Stemas, who studies Buddhism, enjoyed the songs. Shen Yun’s classically trained soloists apply the bel canto technique while singing in Chinese. The lyrics to the spiritually rich songs appear on the backdrops behind them.
“I was drawn to reading what they meant. That was important, I liked that,” she said.
“The words definitely helped give a context to what I was hearing,” Mr. Stemas said.
After seeing Shen Yun, the couple just might have some new ideas for their work.
Reporting by Charlie Lu and Sharon Kilarski
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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.