SANTA BARBARA, Calif.—The world-renowned Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company made its debut appearance at The Granada Theater on March 29. All three of Shen Yun’s performances were sold-out in advance, including two on March 30.
Among a very enthusiastic audience that was cheering, hooting, and whistling during the performance was Ms. Chevalier, also known as The “Weird VAL” of Dark Cabaret. She is an entertainer with multiple talents.
As a cabaret artist—singing and dancing—she received the Unanimous Choice Award for Best Independent Cabaret Artist at the 14th Annual Los Angeles Music Awards (LAMA.)
As a song writer-music producer, her Polka Haunt Us album was a critical success, and was an Official Selection on the 51st Grammy Awards Ballot.
A trained classical ballet dancer, Ms. Chevalier is also a comedienne, a parodist popular in the steampunk community, and a popular mistress of ceremonies.
Ms. Chevalier was thrilled after seeing the music and dance performance. “This show is magnifique. It is beautiful. It is all the joy of dance and life-ness and traditions and beauty. And it is universal,” she 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.
For eight years, Shen Yun has quickly become an international sensation, with four companies simultaneously touring around the world.
The Shen Yun website describes the performance, “Sophisticated dance techniques, an orchestra joining instruments from both the East and West, beautiful costumes, and a stunning back drop—this is Shen Yun at first glance. But digging deeper, one discovers a sea of traditional Chinese culture.”
Ms. Chevalier was moved by Shen Yun’s music and the lyrics’ spiritual themes. “I love the music. I also love the singing. The soprano touched my heart so deeply,” she said. “The sound is beautiful. The music goes right to your heart.”
Music is an important component of Shen Yun, with each dance accompanied by the Shen Yun Orchestra. The orchestra is unique in that it combines Chinese instruments with a Western-style symphonic orchestra.
Another feature of the performance is vocal soloists who sing Chinese lyrics using the bel canto technique. Each song is “brimming with philosophical reflection about human life and containing deep layers of meaning,” according to the website.
Ms. Chevalier marveled at the classical Chinese dance. “The dancing is world class. I have seen many ballet and modern and ethnic companies from all over the world, and I am so impressed. This is wonderful,” she said.
“Chinese dance is at the heart of what Shen Yun does. Known for its incredible flips and spins, and its gentle elegance, it is one of the most rigorous and expressive art forms in the world,” explains the website.
“I am very grateful to be here,” said Ms. Chevalier. “And it is a joy to participate, and to witness this, and to share this beauty.”
She said she would “absolutely” recommend Shen Yun to her friends.
“I will say you must see this show,” she said. “It is not to be missed.”
Reporting by Keith Yuan 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