SAN FRANCISCO—Shen Yun Performing Arts was filled with empowering stories for Ms. Susan Schrank and Ms. Diane Nowak at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco, Jan. 12.
New York-based Shen Yun has toured internationally for the past eight years, reviving 5,000 years of Chinese civilization through the performing arts. Shen Yun performs traditional Chinese dance, music blending East and West, and tells stories from every period and region of China with its mini-dramas.
“I think we all need to be empowered and that’s what the stories do, they empower individuals,” Ms. Schrank said. “It empowers all of us.”
Ms. Nowak, president of Keystone Appraisal, agreed with her friend and said “The Steadfast Lotus” had stood out in her mind in that respect.
The story told of a mother and daughter in modern day China practicing the spiritual discipline Falun Dafa, and upholding the traditional Chinese beliefs found throughout the performance. China was once called the land of the divine, but under years of communist rule, the traditional culture was nearly lost.
“She didn’t give up and she kept doing what she was doing, her meditation,” Ms. Nowak said of the daughter in “The Steadfast Lotus.”
Shen Yun tells the stories through classical Chinese dance, a vast and independent system of dance passed down and refined through the dynasties. By focusing on bearing, or “inner spirit,” as well as form and technique, classical Chinese dance is richly expressive and capable of portraying scenes from any period of time.
“[It’s] mesmerizing,” Ms. Nowak said of the performance. “Everybody is just perfectly in sync—the formations, the colors, and the movements. The colors are very vivid; it’s just very impressive.”
The friends said watching Shen Yun left them with a positive impression of traditional Chinese culture.
Ms. Schrank said she felt “energized, uplifted. It’s a very positive experience.”
Shen Yun’s revival of the culture was important for people around the world as well, Ms. Schrank said, “because how else will we be exposed to it if they don’t?”
Ms. Nowak said she agreed, and was hopeful Shen Yun would be able to perform in China one day.
“Maybe they will, maybe someday soon,” Ms. Nowak said.
Reporting by 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.