History and Tradition Shine Through in Shen Yun, Says University Basketball Coach

January 12, 2014 Updated: January 13, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO—”The beauty of Shen Yun was presented very well,” said Mr. Lance Von Vogt, head coach of the William Jessup University basketball team, after seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco, Jan. 12.

New York-based Shen Yun’s last San Francisco performance of the season was thoroughly educational for Mr. Van Vogt, who said he was learning things from dynasty after dynasty through the production.

“You can tell that they wanted to stay true to the traditions of the Chinese culture,” Mr. Von Vogt said.

Shen Yun was established in 2006 by international artists to revive 5,000 years of Chinese civilization through the performing arts, which according to Mr. Von Vogt is quite the feat.

“Many times when you take something and you turn it into art, you lose the history,” Mr. Von Vogt said. “But they didn’t do that here, they kept it together.”

Shen Yun performs classical Chinese dance and ethnic and folk dances from the many ethnic minority groups of China. As the Shen Yun website states, “Classical Chinese dance is a culture left to us by the ancients who came before us; its beauty should be riches shared by all of humanity; its purity should not be contaminated.”

“The dancers were terrific, not only with their skill and ability, but also their dress,” Mr. Von Vogt said. “I thought that the colors, the costumes and the colors, were great. Really enjoyed it.”

Shen Yun’s costumes, too, give the audience a window into the different dynasties. In one piece, female dancers wore “flower pot” shoes as the Manchurian princesses of the 17th century did, and in another they wore long sleeved dresses from the Tang Dynasty.

The costumes in the opening, which told of the Creator descending from heaven to set into motion the first Chinese dynasty, had stood out for Mr. Von Vogt. “The colors were so beautiful; it caught your eyes,” Mr. Von Vogt said.

Tender and Inspiring

The deep traditions of China that came through in Shen Yun’s performance were touching for Clemente and Helen Holguin, who attended the performance with friends.

“Very smooth, very eclectic, and inspiring—because of the tenderness and the feeling of the dancers, and the continuity of their flow and the music, [it] blends and meshes with the message they were conveying,” Mr. Holguin said.

Mr. Holguin said he saw the message of the traditional Chinese culture coming from thousands of years ago up to the present day, and of “how they are able to maintain their culture; how they can still let the world know what their culture means, what is theirs, the serenity.”

Mrs. Holguin shared Mr. Holguin’s sentiments, and said she wished Shen Yun could be seen in China, by the Chinese people, as well.

“We’ll be here next year,” Mr. Holguin.

Reporting by Michelle Yang and Catherine Yang

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.