AUSTIN, Texas—Louise Hirst, retired senior vice president of TD Bank, saw Shen Yun Performing Arts with her friend Susan Norlund, a geologist, and they were amazed with their first experience with classical Chinese dance.
“Absolutely love it. I love the colors, I love the dance,” Ms. Hirst said.
New York-based Shen Yun has toured the world every year since 2006, with a completely new performance each season. Through the universal languages of music and dance, Shen Yun revives 5,000 years of Chinese civilization.
Every performance includes solo vocalists singing in the bel canto style, and Ms. Hirst was moved by the power of the three sopranos singing original Chinese compositions in bel canto style Saturday afternoon.
Chinese culture is said to be inspired by the heavens, but the culture was once almost lost. Values like benevolence, wisdom, propriety, and respect for the heavens come through in the arts of Shen Yun, which cannot be seen in today’s China under the current regime.
Yet these traditional values are alive in Shen Yun.
“You can just see it in the interpretation of the dance and also in the opera and the words of the songs,” Ms. Hirst said, adding that China should not be the way it is today.
“It’s beautiful,” Ms. Norland said. “Very beautiful.”
History in the Details
Also in the audience were Ron and Tara Duncan, who saw a story of Chinese culture unfold before them for the first time.
“Each individual dances their own story,” said Mr. Duncan, a senior consultant at Trident Risk Management in Houston. Mr. Duncan was previously with the U.S. Navy, overseeing nuclear reactor operations.
“Even though it’s banned in China, the values carry on elsewhere,” he said. “I think the legacy will carry on.”
“People need tradition in order to become better people,” Mrs. Duncan added.
The couple noticed the intricacies in the performance, which gave historical information down to the tiniest details.
“It’s intricate, and it’s very interesting to see the intricacies of the dance,” Mr. Duncan said, even if, for example, one is not aware of the history behind the details of a particular costume.
“It’s absolutely outstanding,” Mrs. Duncan said. “It’s unbelievable.”
A Peaceful Setting
Mr. Rubio Silva, a recently retired project manager for AMEC, said that he saw peace in Shen Yun.
“The main thing it can convey is that this world can be more peaceful, and live in more harmony than it is [now],” Mr. Silva said. “The emotion comes from the screen, comes to the stage … It is a beautiful arrangement there.”
Shen Yun’s website describes their use of the large screen at the back of the stage: “With state-of-the-art graphics technology, Shen Yun’s digital-backdrop team creates vividly animated settings, extending the stage and transporting the audience to a world where heaven and earth are one.”
“I really gain a lot from coming to [Shen Yun],” added Mr. Silva.
Reporting by Mei Zhong 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.