SAN JOSE, Calif.—Connecting the present with the past and reviving tradition is something that Shen Yun Performing Arts is dedicated to. Richard McDonald, an attorney, felt appreciation for Shen Yun‘s ability to connect dance and song with culture and tradition.
“I can really get a sense of the history and the richness of the culture and the different people,” McDonald said. “It was neat the way it tied to history and the culture through the arts. The dance [and] the costumes were just visually stunning. I was really captivated by the colors and the various ensembles, but they all had a very common thread.”
That common thread he was referring to was “the storyline, the Creator and the heavens, and the connection that the dances had to the culture.”
Shen Yun’s singers are trained in the bel canto style, and although they sing in Chinese, the translated libretti are projected onto the backdrop so that audiences around the world can understand the words being sung.
McDonald found that a particular song in Shen Yun resonated with him.
“As the song said, that tradition is good. And staying with the traditional sense of values and cultural norms that we have brings people together. And in a way, that is difficult to maintain these days because of the separation that this pandemic is creating, and any opportunity for people to be brought back together culturally I think is very important.”
Audience members also often comment on feeling the energy of Shen Yun Performances.
“The energy, I could feel it inside. Through the visual and hearing the music was very stunning in all respects—visually, emotionally. I loved every second of it,” McDonald said. “It was a wonderful experience all around. I was not sure what to expect because people have spoken so highly of it, and I was not disappointed in the slightest. It’s truly a wonderful show.”
Scott Aldous, an engineer for Google, also felt that the preservation of culture is an important mission.
“I personally don’t know a lot about Chinese history and culture,” Aldous said. “And I think it’s great to have the opportunity to learn a little bit about that and to observe it. And I think it’s a great mission to make sure that it’s preserved.”
He understood that with China’s communist regime, there’s a threat that the culture will be lost as the generations go by.
“With the current government, I think that it may be difficult to preserve those traditions, especially as rising generations come up,” Aldous said. “So it feels like someone would need to do that to make sure that those long years in history would be preserved.”
Apart from the mission to restore Chinese culture, Shen Yun‘s performances also include the fun and lighthearted side of Chinese culture.
“I like the elements of humor that are added into it. I find that enjoyable. For example, the act with the Monkey King, I really enjoyed that one,” Aldous said. “Very, very good performance. You know, it’s obvious that all of the dancers are very talented and have put in a lot of time and dedication to hone their craft. It’s very good.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Maria Han.
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.