WASHINGTON—Mr. George Allen, former U.S. Senator from Virginia, who presently serves on the Reagan Ranch Board of Governors for Young America’s Foundation as a Reagan Ranch Presidential Scholar, saw Shen Yun Performing Arts on Jan. 22. His wife, Mrs. Susan Brown Allen, joined him at the Kennedy Center Opera House, a venue that has hosted the Shen Yun performances for years.
“We both thoroughly enjoyed the show. It was interesting, educational, inspirational and beautiful,” said Mr. Allen.
According to the Shen Yun website, Shen Yun presents colorful and exhilarating performances of classical Chinese dance and music. 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.”
Having enjoyed the Shen Yun show, Mr. Allen said, “This was really a wonderful performance. We wish our kids were with us, our children could enjoy it as well. There will be future performances we look forward to seeing.”
Mrs. Allen agreed and said, “This was a very worthwhile experience. We hope many others will enjoy it as well.”
According to the Shen Yun website, “At the core of Shen Yun’s performances is classical Chinese dance with China’s numerous ethnic and folk dance styles rounding out the evening,”
Mrs. Allen said, “The classical dance was beautiful to watch and so unique. In fact, I look forward to finding out more about all of the steps. It was just beautifully portrayed, and very well done.”
Mr. Allen was awed by “the Manchurian shoes, those wooden shoes.” They are shaped like flowerpots, and called flowerpot shoes.
He asked, “How could they walk around in those shoes like that? That in itself was an acrobatic feat itself.”
According to the Shen Yun website, “One of the features that strikes audience members most is Shen Yun’s colorful costumes.”
Mrs. Allen loved the artists’ costumes and said, “The colors and the costumes were fantastic too, so the whole cultural experience was terrific.”
Shen Yun has a one-of-a-kind orchestra. 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,” according to the Shen Yun website.
Thinking of the blend of instruments, Mr. Allen said “I loved that. It was great … with the violin and the Chinese instrument, [erhu] which is a fascinating instrument, there was one solo with it, and it was perfect. It really was. It blended beautifully.”
Also, being able to see the erhu, pleased him and piqued his interest, Mr. Allen said. “I’ve heard of the erhu, but never got to see it. When you think of Chinese music, you hear that instrument in it, but it was the first time I’ve actually seen someone play it live.”
He continued, “In fact, I’d like to see it closer, to see how it’s actually made. It has a beautiful sound and an interesting sound. It has a violin sound but different, and obviously a different instrument in how it’s designed and built.”
Mrs. Allen liked the backdrops that displayed the translation of the Chinese songs. It is a full projected display of the lyrics in both languages, much more than supratitles.
The sopranos were “fantastic. They were incredible. The sound was just outstanding. Also, having the words displayed on the backdrop, so that we could follow the song, was very helpful too. It was beautifully done,” said Ms. Allen.
Her husband agreed and said, “I think the words behind the songs are useful in any language. The voices are so strong and amazing, but it is helpful to know what they’re singing.
Reporting by Jenny Jing 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.