SANTA BARBARA, Calif.—Jeannette Hahn is a professional wardrobe consultant with JSH Atelier and is also a competitive ballroom dancer. Recently, her artistic senses were inspired by Shen Yun Performing Arts at the The Granada Theatre on Friday evening, March 29.
“I think it’s exquisite. It’s so graceful,” she said.
Hahn greatly appreciated Shen Yun’s artistry, with classical Chinese dance, traditional Chinese instruments included in a full orchestra, stories from ancient and modern China, and lush backdrops with famous Chinese scenery.
“The dancing is amazing,” she said. “It’s my first time seeing classical Chinese dancing.”
In between each vignette, a pair of emcees introduced a little bit of Chinese history in both Chinese and English, while vocal soloists stepped up to sing in their native Chinese, with English subtitles projected on the background.
Founded in 2006, Shen Yun is based in New York and aims to revive these traditional, divinely-inspired aspects of China’s 5,000-year-old culture, which was once nearly lost under communist rule.
“We love that it tells the story of China. And we love the spirituality of it,” said Hahn.
As a wardrobe consultant, she was particularly fascinated by the colorful costumes of Shen Yun’s dancers. The costumes of each vignette often have a special theme or trait that can add to the nature of the dance, such as long, flowing sleeves of the women’s dresses, small hand-held drums, or even items balanced on top of the dancers’ heads.
“The costumes are so ethereal and beautiful and bright,” she said.
Hahn was also delighted to see the performance during the season of spring, with countless flowers blooming and life regenerating all around the Southern California area.
“It’s a great time to see this I think, springtime, because of the message of eternal life, and that life renews itself in spring,” she said.
Finally, Hahn said she appreciated the sense of traditional values portrayed in the performance, such as respect, courtesy, and of course spirituality. She felt the idea of a divine Creator mentioned during the performance resonated with her “very, very much.”
“I would recommend it very, very highly,” she said. “And I am very, very impressed.”
‘I will see it every time it comes to town.’
Local chef Michael Hutchings, who runs his own catering business in Santa Barbara and has hosted television cooking shows, was also in the Shen Yun audience on Friday.
“It’s terrific,” he said. “This is the second time I’ve seen the performance, and I will see it every time it comes to town. It’s different than the last time, and it’s telling a great story.”
Hutchings said the performance is a “visual spectacle,” and as someone with a musical background, he really enjoyed the live orchestra and the vocal soloists.
“I love the blending of the Western and Eastern style of music, the blending of different instruments, and it really gives a great accent to the whole show,” he said.
The dancing also impressed Hutchings, especially the precision of each dancer’s movement in unison with the others as a group on stage.
Hutchings also said he appreciated how Shen Yun brings the culture of China to life, with the spirituality of traditional Chinese culture shining through.
“I like the spiritual they’re bringing to it. I think the world needs more of that, and a certain morality … [so] we have a more harmonious society,” he said. “It’s pretty universal. It’s a great thing to ponder.”
In summary, Hutchings said he hoped other people who have not seen Shen Yun would have the opportunity to go.
“I think it’s wonderful. I think everyone should see it at least once. I’m going to get my mother to go,” he said.
With reporting by Marie-Paul Baxiu and NTD Television.
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time and has covered audience reactions since the company’s inception in 2006.