WASHINGTON—Kristin McGhee, associate professor at Prince George’s Community College in Maryland teaches English as a Second Language and when she saw that Shen Yun Performing Arts was performing in Washington D.C. she knew she had to see it.
And she did, at the Kennedy Center matinee session on March 31. But she did not go alone, she brought her students with her in the form of the Asia Awareness Club.
“We have a club that is a diverse group of students that wants to know more about Asian cultures and we came to see Shen Yun. Twenty eight of us came today!” she said.
It was a good decision by all accounts. They “loved it,” Dr. McGhee said, and so did she.
“It was fabulous … very energetic, beautiful, loved the music … and the costumes were wonderful,” she said, “I was very impressed.”
She noted how Shen Yun had harnessed contemporary digital technology to enhance the audience’s experience saying, “The artistic backdrop, that was fabulous. The whole concept of digital technology … amazing.”
Dr. McGhee, also appreciated the informative nature of the Shen Yun performance saying, “There was a lot of educational value to this.”
“The narrators as well as the program gave us a lot of background as we were watching, so we could appreciate the context about Chinese culture.”
Shen Yun, a New York-based company, has as its mission to restore and revive traditional Chinese culture.
“A performance by Shen Yun 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,” the Shen Yun websites says.
Dr. McGhee commended the company in its pursuit of those goals, noting that Shen Yun had been successful in making those cultural understandings accessible to all people.
“The dance, the artistic nature, the expression of the stories was done in a way that was easy for many cultures to appreciate,” she said.
“To see the traditions and the religious traditions, as well as the artistic, the stories, the good versus evil, all that was going on on stage gave us a window into a larger context of Chinese culture.
“I definitely saw a lot of universal themes of good versus evil, beauty, warriors and battles being fought … a lot of universal themes I could relate to.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Lillian Chang
Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, tours the world on a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company will perform at The Kennedy Center Opera House, Washington, D.C., through April 1.
For more information visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org