DETROIT—As winter snows continue in the Midwest, Ren Carlton and Carmela Catizzone decided to brave the winter elements to see Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Detroit Opera House on Saturday evening.
“They’re doing a wonderful job. The culture, the athleticism, the performers—it’s been amazing,” said Mr. Carlton, president and CEO of Dynamic Advisory Solutions.
“The show was spectacular!” said Ms. Catizzone.
Shen Yun excels at taking legends and tales from China’s 5,000-year history and presenting them to audiences through music and dance. The performance features both ethnic and folk dance as well as classical Chinese dance, one of the richest and most expressive art forms in the world.
“They’re just amazing how fluid they are, how in sync they are, the athleticism, and how amazing they are,” Mr. Carlton said of the dancers. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
“And the costumes and the makeup—wonderful,” added Ms. Catizzone.
The New York-based company aims to revitalize traditional and classical Chinese arts and dance. Many who come to Shen Yun see something they have never experienced before.
“I guess [it leaves one with] a deeper appreciation for the art,” said Ms. Catizzone. “I didn’t even realize there was Chinese opera before today, so that was intriguing.”
Shen Yun’s vocalists are unique in that they apply Italian bel canto singing to the Chinese language. An extremely difficult task, according to the company’s website.
The heart and soul of China’s ancient culture can be found in principles such as compassion, justice, and respect for the heavens, as explained on the website. Mr. Carlton said he was moved by the performance.
“I was overwhelmed by the emotions,” he said. “It was very deep and very intense, so I really enjoyed it.”
“That’s a good word—intense,” added Ms. Catizzone.
“I never had any idea of the things they could do, and just the storyline is amazing, the narration of it,” Mr. Carlton said.
Shen Yun uses a unique digital backdrop that seamlessly blends modern technology with classical culture. The animation on the screen seems to come alive and interact with the dancers on stage.
“That was the best part,” said Ms. Catizzone. “I loved the backdrop. It felt so real, like you were actually there.”
“When they were jumping into the screen and stuff like that—the illusions were beautiful,” said Mr. Carlton.
Mr. Carlton said Shen Yun left him with a “deeper appreciation for the Chinese culture.”
Reporting by Dengyu Teng and Paul Darin
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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.