CHICAGO—Each year New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts returns to Chicago, and each year Mr. Perry Pei-Hwang Shen, Director General of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Chicago made sure to attend.
“It’s unbelievably gorgeous and so touching,” he said. He joined the highly appreciative audience Saturday evening, April 16, at Chicago’s Civic Opera House.
The Director General was so moved by the world-renowned show of classical Chinese culture, that he sought to honor it in a traditional way, by greeting it’s return with a poem:
"Divinely inspired music
Magical sounds reverberating
Supreme in artistry
Unmatched in skills
Sweeping through the globe
Grand occasion in town
Staging the past to advise the present
Entrancing and perfect
* The original Chinese version is an acrostic of ten lines: Reading the first character of the lines vertically yields the line: “[Wish] Shen Yun Performing Arts’ Performance in the Windy City Great Success.”
The Director General explained why he feels Shen Yun is so amazing. “Every year, Shen Yun’s performances are different. A complete new program. Different designs, different costumes, different dances, and different music. Every time I see the show, I am really emotionally touched by the essence of traditional Chinese culture expressed through the performance.
"Every time I see the Shen Yun show I would think—from the perspective of time, the history of China is 5,000 years old; from the perspective of geography, it’s the entire mainland China. During that enormous time and space, Chinese culture is extremely diverse and beautiful. Especially today, we have lost the essence of this profound Chinese culture in mainland China, and we have found it abroad in the Shen Yun performance. With so many excellent performers, through endless efforts in designing and choreographing, they present the most beautiful side of Chinese culture to allow our friends in Western society, and Chinese abroad, to have the fortune to enjoy such a wonderful show.
"I’m very very happy that Shen Yun has come to Chicago for 10 shows this year. I told all of my American friends they should come see it. It will be extremely successful, just like the last two years. Such a wonderful presentation of Chinese culture that touches people can bridge borders and touch everyone’s hearts. It will be welcomed all around the world.
"I have heard Shen Yun is also recently performing in Taiwan—and all the seats filled up and they even have to add more shows. I’ve seen Shen Yun also in Europe. The audiences there especially appreciate the arts. They all really love the beautiful artistry and are touched by the Chinese culture. Shen Yun being successful everywhere around the world is certain. I hope Shen Yun will come to Chicago again next year, and bring such beautiful Chinese culture to everybody in Chicago.”
Mr. Shen has been the Director General of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Chicago since 2009.
Reporting by NTD Television and Jeanmarie Lunsford.
Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company will perform at Chicago's Civic Opera House through April 24. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org