SAN FRANCISCO—One thing that struck Thom Wyatt about Shen Yun Performing Arts is that “no one is the star. Everyone is … an ensemble together.”
New York-based Shen Yun has toured the world for nine years, bringing ancient Chinese culture to life through classical Chinese dance and music.
Mr. Wyatt, global marketing director for the company Siegel and Gale, attended the performance at San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House on Jan. 10 and found it “very entertaining.”
“I liked the spiritual part,” Mr. Wyatt said. “I noticed it’s all very communal, it’s all done together as a group. Not individuals, not stars, but everybody collectively, cooperative.”
Mr. Wyatt particularly enjoyed the piece Snow-Capped Celebration, a Tibetan dance set in the snowy Himalayas. He liked the dancers’ costumes and the “energy, very exciting energy.”
“The dancing’s very exciting, and learning a bit of the history of China,” he said.
He appreciated the live orchestra and found its music entertaining. The Shen Yun Performing Arts Orchestra uses both Chinese and Western instruments and musical traditions.
Shen Yun’s website explains, “A Western orchestra plays the foundation, while traditional Chinese instruments lead the melodies. The sound produced is uniquely pleasing to the ear.”
Classical Chinese dance “entails systematic training in movements and postures, as well as very difficult jumping and tumbling techniques,” the company’s website states.
“I appreciate watching them, and all of the training,” Mr. Seder said. “I appreciate how easy they make it look. It takes a lot of hard work to make it look that easy.”
“I’m also learning a lot about different aspects of Chinese culture that I didn’t know very much about,” he said.
Many of Shen Yun’s dance pieces tell stories from China’s rich 5,000-year history. Mr. Seder especially liked The Fable of the Magic Brush, in which “a young painter befriends a mysterious maiden and defends her from a band of ruffians. In gratitude, she gives him a magical brush that turns anything it paints into reality,” according to Shen Yun’s program.
“I like the idea of fables and the stories that they tell, because they’re trying to teach us something,” Mr. Seder said. “Someone a long time ago was trying to teach somebody something and shared this story.”
Ancient Chinese culture was believed to be divinely inspired. Many of its stories embody traditional values such as compassion and justice, which are portrayed onstage in Shen Yun.
“A lot of the fables across cultures teach a lot of the same lessons, so that’s why I appreciate them so much,” Mr. Seder said.
Reporting by Qian Zhang and Sally Appert
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.