LOS ANGELES—Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company presented its first performance at the Nokia Theater LA LIVE on March 22.
Among a captivated, sold-out audience was J. Michael Ferniany, Hollywood actor, director, and a gifted playwright. His upcoming play, Who Can Stop The Moon? will be staged and performed in the near future.
It was Mr. Ferniany’s first time seeing the highly celebrated Shen Yun performance. “I have waited a long time to see it, so I am really thrilled to be here today,” he said.
Independent and nonprofit, New York-based Shen Yun was established in 2006 by artists from around the world with the mission of using the universal language of dance and music to revive China’s divinely-inspired traditional Chinese culture, which had nearly been completely destroyed by the current regime in China over the last several decades.
Since eight years ago, Shen Yun has quickly become an international sensation, with four companies simultaneously touring around the world.
The Shen Yun website describes some of Shen Yun’s features: “A Shen Yun performance features the world’s foremost classically trained dancers, a unique orchestra blending East and West, and dazzling animated backdrops—together creating one spectacular performance.”
Mr. Ferniany was highly enthralled with every aspect of the performance. He enthusiastically exclaimed, “I love this show; It’s wonderful; I mean the dancing, the costumes, the choreography, the screen of the back, the movie in the back, the way they intersperse the people coming from the screen to the stage. Fabulous! Every bit of it is wonderful.”
The screen Mr. Ferniany pointed out refers to the the state-of-the-art digital backdrops that are an integral part of the performance.
According to the Shen Yun website, “These digital backdrop designs complement and synchronize all aspects of the performance: the characters, color of the costumes, specific dance movements, props, lighting, the story being told, particular notes played by the orchestra, and special audio effects.”
At the core of a Shen Yun performance is classical Chinese dance. “Classical Chinese dance has its own set of training methods in basic skills and has strict training in both physical expression and specific postures. It also involves learning combinations of leaps, turns, flips, spins and other aerial and tumbling techniques. It is a vast and independent system of dance,” explains the website.
Mr. Ferniany was also impressed by the precision of the dancers. “I can’t get over the precision, and the execution of all the dancers. There has to be at least 40 dancers doing this, and it’s just overwhelming, and it’s just overwhelming. It’s wonderful. Every body should see it,” he said. “Also, they are all about the same height, they all look about the same weight; I find that amazing.”
Mr. Ferniany continued explaining, “They are all the same size. The way they all come on and off the stage beautifully in precision, their hands are all the same position. Their legs are all moving the same position. They work with the instruments like they did the dance with the little lanterns, [that] was wonderful.”
He was referring to the dance piece entitled, Lantern Joy, in which dancers carry glowing lanterns during the Lantern Festival in celebration of the Chinese New Year.
Mr. Ferniany said he found the Chinese history conveyed in the performance fascinating. He was delighted that the two Chinese and English-speaking emcees introduced the background and context of each piece for better understanding.
Sharing the feelings he had while watching the performance, Mr. Ferniany said, “I am watching it, and just laughing. I am giddy because it’s so overwhelming. And it’s just so much fun to watch, so I am just watching, sitting there going I can’t believe that they are all doing this in unison.
“I think that is amazing. I know what it takes to rehearse. I know what it takes to perform; it takes a lot of energy, a lot of practice,” he said. “It (was) as a dance extravaganza with history of China well worth every body’s time to come see it. Absolutely wonderful.”
Mr. Ferniany expressed his appreciation to the Shen Yun Artistic Director and Choreographers, adding that “I can see the director and the choreography have really done their job with this show. So kudos to them.”
Reporting by NTD and Thanh Le
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