WASHINGTON—Shen Yun Performing Arts graced the stage on Saturday March 31 at the Kennedy Center Opera House, leaving audience members astounded by the vivid display of something hard to encapsulate in words.
“Words can’t describe it, but this is just something that you absolutely have to come see, and you need to bring your whole family, because this is something that could really change the way your family relates, and the respect and honor of one another that is truly being lost in this culture.” said Kathie Callahan Brady, president of CEO Space Maryland, an international executive and entrepreneur training business. “It’s just something you have to come to, and you have to come see.”
With a mission of reviving the 5,000-year-old, divinely inspired traditional Chinese culture, Shen Yun traverses the globe, according to its website. This culture was nearly destroyed by communist rule in China, which is why Shen Yun is based in New York and cannot currently travel to the very country whose culture it brings back to life.
Mrs. Brady believes that Shen Yun is succeeding in its mission.
“I think [Shen Yun is] truly achieving what it is setting out to do,” she said. “I actually, right at the beginning, found myself kind of crying to it a little bit, just where, I think we’ve lost some of our culture, and I’m hoping that this really brings it back.
“But I’m trying to think of some way that I can encourage people to come, because it is not an ordinary play. With the way that [Shen Yun] have put it together, with the beautiful backgrounds, the scenery, the costumes, and things that [they] have done, are just exquisite. There’s no other way of describing it other than truly beautiful and amazing.”
Shen Yun combines different artistic mediums, all of which Mrs. Brady appreciated.
“The music was really, really good, and the dance, of course, was phenomenal,” she said. “So very moving and very powerful.”
“Shen Yun’s one-of-a-kind orchestra, with its all-original compositions, blends East and West like no other,” states Shen Yun’s website. “The distinctly Chinese sound of ancient instruments like the two-stringed erhu (also known as the Chinese violin) and the pipa are bathed in a rich sea of Western strings, percussion, woodwinds, and brass. The result—two great classical music traditions producing one fresh, unexpected sound.”
This unique orchestra accompanies the heart of a Shen Yun performance—classical Chinese dance, an ancient system that, according to the company’s website, is both one of the hardest to master and one of the most comprehensive in the world.
Mrs. Brady sensed many messages being imparted through the performance, and noted a couple that really got to her.
“There is a message of grace and there’s a message of humility, where every single actor was so perfect, but there wasn’t just one who stood out,” said Mrs. Brady. “Every single one of them was absolutely key and critical, so there was this cooperation that goes so deep.”
Her husband and daughter, as well as her business partner and two good friends, accompanied Mrs. Brady to the performance.
“It was truly an honor to be here,” she said.
Reporting by NTD Television and Zachary Stieber
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