NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Cotton Trader Chuck Hilboldt and his wife Darlene Hilboldt drove over 200 miles from Memphis, especially to see Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Andrew Jackson Hall, Tennessee Performing Arts Center, on Feb. 23.
“We had heard that it was just a phenomenal dance [company], we simply decided since we couldn’t see it in Memphis, we would come here,” Mr. Hiboldt said.
Mrs. Hiboldt echoed her husband’s sentiments, saying the performance “was wonderful.”
“We wanted to see it in Memphis but we were gone that weekend.”
“Reviving 5,000 years through the universal language of music and dance, Shen Yun weaves a wondrous tapestry of heavenly realms, ancient legends, and modern heroic tales, taking you on a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese culture,” Shen Yun website reads. “Its stunning beauty and tremendous energy leave audiences uplifted and inspired.”
“Actually, to me, one of the phenomenal things was just the flow of the fabric that they use. In fact, I was interested because I’m In the cotton industry, and I would be interested to find out exactly how they produce that fabric that allows it … it’s got to be so thin and so sheer, it allows it to flow as if it was zephyr. It’s just amazing the colors are wonderful,” Mr. Hiboldt said.
“It was wonderful, the colors are so soft,” his wife added.
Another phenomenon that aroused Mr. Hiboldt’s curiosity was how the dancers achieved the levels of athleticism required to complete consistently difficult dance moves without tiring.
“When they’re done with any one of their [dance] segments, they did not seem out of breath. It was again effortless. It’s obviously incredibly difficult and I was wondering, how did they get in that shape. It was great a great performance.”
According to the website, “in classical Chinese dance, it is meaning that drives the body into motion. In other words, in this dance form, only when inner feelings drive the body is full expression achieved.
“Classical Chinese dance uses the human body’s natural ability; it does not require specifically training individual muscles. That is, the muscle strength gained naturally through walking, running, jumping, climbing stairs, riding a bicycle, etc., as well as the upper-body strength naturally built through physical labor, is further strengthened in the course of training.”
And one other aspect of the Shen Yun presentation Mr. Hiboldt found intriguing was the exposure of the persecuted Falun Gong, a meditation system banned by the Chinese Communist Party in July, 1999.
The couple were touched by a couple of the dance vignettes that referred to the plight of Falun Gong, also called Falun Dafa.
“Falun Gong is guided by the principles of “Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance.” It has helped over a hundred million Chinese people understand and return to the essence of traditional Chinese culture—Confucian, Buddhist, and Taoist schools of thought,” says the website.
“And yet, the Chinese Communist Party, whose regime and ideology are in stark contrast with the traditional culture of China, has targeted Falun Gong for persecution.”
“The stories were very touching,” Mrs. Hiboldt said.
Reporting by Mary Silver and Raiatea Tahana-Reese
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.