Economist: Shen Yun Opens Eyes, Inspires

January 22, 2014

WASHINGTON—Mr. Yan Carriere-Swallow, an economist with the International Monetary Fund, a global organization that lends money to its members in economic difficulty, and Ms. Karla, saw Shen Yun Performing Arts on its opening night, on Jan. 21.

This couple braved a blizzard covering the Washington area to enjoy an evening at the Kennedy Center Opera House. The Kennedy Center was founded in 1971 and besides the unique Shen Yun show, has presented to audiences many different types of shows over the years.

Both enjoyed the Shen Yun show with Mr. Carriere-Swallow saying, “Very interesting show. The dancers were very impressive, including the coordination and rhythms.”

Ms. Karla was in total agreement with her friend. “I’m of the same opinion. It was very interesting to see all the history.”

The conversation changed to the costumes and Mr. Carriere-Swallow said, “The costumes were very impressive as well.”

Concerning the costumes, the Shen Yun website states, “One of the features that strikes audience members the most is Shen Yun’s colorful costumes. These hundreds of gorgeous, handmade garments span China’s dynasties, regions, and ethnic groups.”

Mr. Carriere-Swallow also said how memorable the music and the orchestra were. He said, “There was one instrument in particular we didn’t know, the two-stringed Chinese [erhu]. It looked like a violin that was played in the lap. That was very impressive and I remember that it had a very nice sound. “

According to the Shen Yun website, “Shen Yun’s one-of-a-kind orchestra, with its all-original compositions, blends East and West like no other. The distinctly Chinese sound of ancient instruments like the erhu and the pipa are bathed in a rich sea of Western strings, percussion, woodwinds, and brass.”

The economist found his curiosity piqued by a dance about the ongoing persecution of the spiritual practice Falun Gong in China. What Mr. Carriere-Swallow saw prompted him to say, “The message was interesting. We hadn’t heard all that much about the situation, so it has opened our eyes to the situation, and we’ll be sure to look into it.”

The cultural context of the show gave him a new outlook on China.

“We didn’t know much about it beyond what we had seen during the Olympic Games, and on and off. It was very interesting, a lot of new things.”

A Shen Yun performance is a presentation of “traditional Chinese culture as it once was: a study in grace, wisdom, and the virtues distilled from the five millennia of Chinese civilization,” according to the Shen Yun website.

Overall, “The scenery and everything was very inspiring, and very nice,” said Mr. Carriere-Swallow on leaving.

Reporting by Min Chang and Heide B. Malhotra

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.

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