Family Connects With Dance and Heritage at Shen Yun

April 16, 2016 2:02 am Last Updated: April 16, 2016 3:14 am

PORTLAND, Ore.—Daren Brayson, president and producer at Blood Orange Productions in Portland, brought his wife, Lauren, and three young daughters—all dancers—to see a performance that turned out to be nothing they’d seen before.

Mr. Brayson said he wanted Lily, his daughter adopted from China, to see Shen Yun Performing Arts to “celebrate her culture.” On Wednesday, April 13, the whole family of five saw the performance at Portland’s Keller Auditorium.

“We adopted her from China. So we brought her [Lily] here to celebrate her culture. It was really good,” he said, “I thought it’s wonderful. I thought it’s really colorful, and vibrant. It’s beautiful, it’s great.”

Daren Brayson’s wife, a graphics producer for Nike, said she thought the Shen Yun performance “was magnificent, it was absolutely beautiful—from costumes to the dancing, just lovely to watch.”

To show 5,000 years of civilization, Shen Yun features story-based dances as well as ethnic and folk dances through classical Chinese dance. Colorful costumes are inspired from traditional wear of the many distinctive ethnic groups within and around China, as well as Chinese Han clothing and heavenly regalia. The performance also includes solo bel canto vocalists and a unique live orchestra.

Everything had been spectacular, to the point where Mrs. Brayson said she couldn’t pick one thing over another.

The overall performance, the dancing, and the articulation—everything is divine.
— Lauren Brayson

“The costumes are beautiful The singing, the sopranos, just so lovely [a] tone too. The overall performance, the dancing, and the articulation—everything is divine,” Mrs. Brayson said.

Mr, Brayson said what made Shen Yun unique was the “melding of the dance” with the animated digital backdrop.

“When things came down, and the dancers will pop up—it was perfect. The timing was perfect and it was very unusual.”

Some dances also use parts of the costumes to create striking visual effects on stage, like delicate silken sleeves, elaborate head-dresses, and colorful handkerchiefs that are spun into the air effortlessly, according to the website.

Ten-year-old Lily, adopted from China, confirmed her father’s words. “I love it. I like the screen where the people came down. I like the big long sleeves, and the costumes.”

Her older sister Lillian agreed, “It was gorgeous; I have never seen something like this before.”

And the youngest, Annabelle, repeated it all. “I thought it was really cool. There are so many different dancers and all of them [are] unique choreography and costumes.”

“We will definitely come back and see it again,” said Mrs. Brayson.

Reporting by Mary Zhang and Nataly Teplitsky

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.