Drama Major: Shen Yun ‘Inspiring’

April 20, 2011 Updated: April 22, 2011

CHICAGO—“They were so expressive,” said Tia Howard, an actress and drama major, about the Shen Yun Performing Art dancers. “It was a fully expressive show.” Ms. Howard and her mother, who are both trained in violin and drama, attended Shen Yun Performing Arts at Chicago’s Civic Opera House on April 20 and had a wonderful experience.

“I had such a good connection with them [the dancers],” Ms. Howard said. “I felt like they affected me being in the audience.”

Mrs. Howard, firefighter, said, “It was very colorful, beautiful and the performers were excellent. The singing was wonderful. I enjoyed everything.”

It was Mrs. Howard’s first time in seeing the performance. “I am so glad that I did come. It’s very wonderful.”

Ms. Howard is currently auditioning in California for parts and was a drama major at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy.“All the singers were excellent and the dancing was really colorful.”

The performers of Shen Yun are dedicated to telling the stories of 5,000 years of divinely inspired Chinese history through dance, music, soloists and visual arts. The communist regime in China over the last 60 years or so, and particularly with the Cultural Revolution of the 60’s and 70’s attempted to destroy this cuture, the company's website explains.

It was impressive to Ms. Howard that "this generation was able to keep the stories and able to share with us. Now I feel like I have a little bit of a better understanding [of the history] and more connected to the culture—it was very beautiful to watch.”

She could relate to the show as the dancers are young like herself. “Seeing some of the dancers—they were young, so it was good to see that they knew so much about their history and being able to express it through the arts.”

“To me, especially someone with a fine arts background,” Ms. Howard said. “It’s inspiring to see them inspiring themselves through the arts.

“Watching all of them being able to express their culture through dance and especially sharing it with us Americans.”

Reporting by Sherry Dong and Cat Rooney.

Shen Yun Performing Arts will be at Chicago’s Civic Opera House through to April 24. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org