WASHINGTON—Mrs. Loretta Penn, president of Spherion Staffing Services saw Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company on March 21 at the Kennedy Center Opera House. She said, “I enjoyed it immensely. To see the passion and the energy and the emotion behind telling such wonderful stories is amazing. To be able to depict 5000 years in two hours and yet engage the audience with music, the stories, and the energy of the dancing is amazing.”
At the heart of a Shen Yun performance, says its website, are the spectacular large-scale dances. For the large ensemble pieces, it takes countless hours to synchronize the dancers so they appear to be moving, in their gorgeous hand sewn costumes, as one entity.
Though she is a Westerner, and Shen Yun celebrates Chinese civilization, she found the performance is accessible and reaches audience members of any background. “There certainly is a cultural difference, but you know it’s an amazing thing about singing and music,” said Mrs. Penn.
“It transcends the world, and so for me tonight sitting here and hearing the enthusiasm of the audience shows that whether we understand the words or not really is the least important part.” Bilingual masters of ceremonies explain each dance and song lyrics are translated and projected on the backdrops.
The singers have won the acclaim of audiences and critics. Each year’s score is original, and the traditional Chinese instruments such as the erhu and pipa merge seamlessly with the classical Western instruments to create an original and beautiful new sound.
Mrs. Penn said, “What was so appealing was the desire to make us all understand how important this part of history really is. When you find a part of history that is so important, you will also find a way to tell it, so that the masses will understand it, whether they understand the language isn’t really important, because the message will come through and it did!
It is said that true art is a contribution to the human spirit. The artists of Shen Yun agree and know their responsibility in this regard. Thus they not only persevere with the difficult technicalities of their skill but they work equally hard on following an ancient Chinese teaching that truly magnificent artists are born from cultivating character and virtue.
Reporting by NTD Staff and Sophia Bronwen.
Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, tours the world on a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company will perform at The Kennedy Center Opera House, Washington, D.C., through April 1.
For more information visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org