HOLLYWOOD, Calif.—Award-winning veteran screen and stage actor Richard Chamberlain was delighted by Shen Yun Performing Arts World Company at the Dolby Theatre on Friday, Jan. 23.
Since its founding in 2006, Shen Yun has quickly become the world’s premiere classical Chinese dance and music performing arts company. Based in New York, the company creates an entirely new production every year, featuring the world’s top dancers, a full orchestra combining eastern and western instruments. and a unique interactive backdrop.
This animated background was especially impressive to Mr. Chamberlain, who said it was amazing watching the dancers appear to leap into the backdrop and fly into the air or dive into the sea.
“I thought that was really fun,” he said. “I was wondering how they managed that kind of projection. It’s very, very interesting.”
Chamberlain gushed about the rich experience of 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture through Shen Yun. “It’s gorgeous,” he said. “It’s absolutely beautiful.”
Although China was once known as Shen Zhou—The Divine Land, traditional Chinese values were nearly destroyed by communist rule.
Shen Yun has taken on the mission of reviving the true, divinely inspired Chinese culture and sharing it with the world. It has become a global phenomenon, touching the hearts of millions.
However, this treasure cannot be seen in China today, which shocks audiences around the world.
“I was surprised that this particular show is not seen in China,” said Chamberlain. “That surprised me.”
Richard Chamberlain began his career as a popular television actor in the 1960s and went on to star in movies and sing in staged musicals. He received Golden Globe awards and Emmy nominations for his work on television miniseries Shogun in 1980 and Thorn Birds in 1983.
Shen Yun ‘Eloquent and dignified’
“It’s beautiful, graceful, and very inspiring,” said Ms. Kathleen Ruddy, CEO of an international child and cancer care facility based here in LA, of the Friday evening, Jan. 23, performance of Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Dolby Theater.
“It’s very surprising. Very varied, very inspiring,” said Ms. Ruddy of the dances.
Ms. Ruddy, who has been to Hong Kong and Singapore, expressed that this performance is a good way to get more insight into the Chinese culture.
“They talk about what life is really for Chinese living in China versus outside of China, and the fight to keep traditions alive—things that are oppressed in China,” said Ms. Ruddy. “Really, you watch this and you think, what a tragedy it would be if we lost it!”
Through story-based classical Chinese dance and ethnic and folk dance, the company breathes new life into ancient myths and legends. It also deals with modern-day human rights abuses in China and the peaceful resistance of the Chinese people.
Ms. Ruddy explained, “To someone born here, you think of China as very similar, and you forget the country is so vast, so many different people, and cultures within the larger Chinese culture. And so it is eye opening to the distinctions.”
The fight for the Chinese to keep their traditions and dignity is what touched her most deeply, said Ms. Ruddy, explaining that in her work, among the many goals in her field, is to fight for the dignity of the patients.
“I see the performers trying to fight for the dignity of the Chinese people, and the dignity of their traditions, and each one of the performances is really quite eloquent and dignified. So it was very moving,” she said.
Reporting by Albert Roman, Jenny Liu, Sarah Le and Masha Savitz
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.
Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reaction since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.