PHOENIX, Ariz.—Something magical brought Jerome Ralston and his wife to see Shen Yun Performing Arts opening night, on Thursday March 31, at the Orpheum Theatre.
“I didn’t like the performance, I loved the performance,” he said excitedly. “It was absolutely stunning. It was beautiful. It was magical!”
Mr. Ralston’s career path is painted with wide and diverse brushstrokes. As an entrepreneur, he has had his own properties since he was young. He and his wife have written and published a book. He has a background in broadcasting, has owned a facility management company for 29 years, and for over 18 years has been investing in and selling real estate. With all this work, he still finds time to give back to others with his involvement in multiple philanthropic activities.
‘I leave here very inspired’
For Mr. Ralston, the most important part of Shen Yun was the spiritual overtones he felt.
The artists of Shen Yun Performing Arts find their inspiration and creativity by looking to the divine. “Throughout history almost every culture looked toward the divine for inspiration. Art was meant to uplift, bringing joy to both the people who created and experienced it. It is this principle that drives Shen Yun performers and their art,” states the company website.
“We need more spirituality on the planet and I didn’t know what to expect with the [performance], but I leave here very inspired,” Mr. Ralston said. “Most importantly, it was spiritual. It had spiritual undertones, and I loved that part about it.”
If you don’t leave inspired, he said, you leave feeling emotional for the Chinese people.
Shen Yun Performing Arts, a non-profit, cannot be seen in Communist China. The website explains that “Based in New York, Shen Yun Performing Arts was established by Falun Dafa practitioners in 2006. The company’s mission is to use performing arts to revive the essence of Chinese culture—traditionally considered a divinely inspired civilization. Since the CCP is officially an atheist regime, it is afraid of the freedom of expression this arts company enjoys in the West.”
Mr. Ralston has a deep heartfelt compassion for those who are repressed in China and live without the freedoms we enjoy in the United States and hopes that one day China will be able to enjoy Shen Yun.
Every aspect of the evening’s performance thrilled Mr. Ralston, from the fascinating digital backdrops and animated settings to the fabulous music.
The state of the art digital-projection brings to life the many dynasties and realms of the mystical and magical ancient Chinese culture. Supporting the dancers is the Shen Yun Orchestra, whose world class musicians skillfully blend Western and Chinese instruments into a musical feast for the audience.
“I’ll be here for the next year and the year after,” he said.
“I can’t wait to go tell my family and the next time I come. I’m coming back with a group of people,” he continued.”You know I’d tell my church members, and I’d tell everybody about this … No doubt about it.”
We will tell them it is spiritually motivating, colorful and will leave them happy.
Mr. Ralston closed with a message for the Shen Yun Performers: “I admire every last one of them. they’ve done a fantastic job!”
‘It was wonderful’
Also on opening night at the Orpheum Theater, was retired House Representative for Idaho, Deanna Vickers and her husband.
“I thought it was wonderful, beautiful, tremendous talent,” she said, “This is a marvelous show.”
She couldn’t decide what impressed her the most about the Shen Yun Performing Arts performance.
“The costumes were wonderful, the dancers were very talented,” Mrs. Vickers said, “It was all very well done.”
Shen Yun vocalists are unique. “The primary trait that distinguishes the singers of Shen Yun is their use of bel canto technique to sing Chinese text. This means that the singer must, while continuing to meet the challenges inherent in bel canto technique, retain proper Chinese pronunciation and diction. Today, these singers’ ability to do this is unparalleled,” says Shen Yun’s website.
Ms. Vickers was surprised at the beauty and deep spiritual meanings contained in the songs, but felt that aspect was wonderful.
She enjoyed the dancing, music, and costumes. “So all in all it was a wonderful show,” she said.
Mrs. Vickers wants her friends to come and experience Shen Yun “because of the beauty of it. It’s beautiful. It’s educational.”
Reporting by Mandy Huang/NTD Television and Cheryl Casati
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.
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.