NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Shen Yun “is very educational, and entertaining. I have never seen anything like this show. It is very impressive … and it is visually very appealing,” said Mark Volman, an Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Entertainment Industry Studies program at Belmont University.
Mr. Volman was referring to Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company, which he saw at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center on May 2, 2015. With Mr. Volman was Ms. Jackie Shelton, a booking agent at Creative Artists Agency.
“The introductions are very good,” he said about the emcees that introduce every scene. “This was especially good for people who had no idea what to expect after the curtain went down and then opened again to the next scene.”
“I am interested in the combination of the folk element in the show” he said.
In addition to folk and ethnic dances, Shen Yun is known for its classical Chinese dance.
“China’s deep cultural traditions are contained in classical Chinese dance, allowing its movements to be richly expressive, such that the personalities and feelings of characters can be portrayed with unparalleled clarity. It is therefore capable of depicting scenes from any time period, whether ancient or modern, Eastern or Western, in a strikingly vivid way,” says Shen Yun on its website.
“The orchestra was excellent. I’m glad they use live music.”
“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,” according to the company’s website.
Ms. Christina Glynn, a pianist, and her daughter Jesenta, who got the ticket to Shen Yun as a pre-birthday present, were in the audience. Ms. Glynn is seeing Shen Yun for the second time and will see it again in 2016.
“Shen Yun weaves a wondrous tapestry of heavenly realms, ancient legends, and modern heroic tales, taking you on a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese culture. Its stunning beauty and tremendous energy leave audiences uplifted and inspired,” according to the website.
“I thought that everything from the choreography to the artistry to the athleticism of the dancing was just breathtaking. I really enjoy it,” she said.
She continued saying that the music is very “expressive and the way they were able to melt the Western and Eastern traditions was very unique, very beautiful. The orchestra was just outstanding. I really enjoy it.”
“The Shen Yun Orchestra combines the spirit, beauty, and distinctiveness of Chinese music with the precision, power, and grandeur of the Western symphony orchestra. The result—two great traditions producing one refreshing sound,” said Shen Yun on its website.
“Their expressiveness was just outstanding. It is difficult to put into words, but it was very majestic and beautiful,” Ms. Glynn said.
The orchestra “is one of a kind. It is so difficult to put something like this together … compliment the musicians because they make it look easy, I know it is not. But that was just so effortless in what they did,” she said.
“The music helped me get caught up in the stories. It was just something you have to experience and difficult to explain,” Ms. Glynn said.
Shen Yun’s message is that this group of performers “want to practice tolerance. It is a wonderful metaphor for how we should live even beyond the performance, in music and on stage. So, I really felt that the art was paralleling the message in a very beautiful and effective way,” Ms. Glynn said.
By way of example, she mentioned “the two worlds coming together, the Eastern and the Western, is shown in the music, the dance.”
“They propose a world-view of tolerance and compassion, and they did that as a group through the art, with the Eastern and Western side of the music. I thought it was a beautiful parallel of how it should happen outside of the performance hall.”
Reporting by Sherry Dong and Heide B. Malhotra
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