SAN FRANCISCO—Judy Mack had passed by a Shen Yun Performing Arts poster in San Francisco and decided she had to see it. For a birthday gift, Mrs. Mack, retired director of counseling at UC Davis, brought her family to see New York-based Shen Yun at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco, Jan. 8.
“It’s very visually stimulating,” said Mr. Rocky Wolf, a marketing executive for an international company. “I think the dancing is quite remarkable—and the color, choreography, and the dancing is very splendid.”
Through the performing arts, Shen Yun revives 5,000 years of Chinese civilization, and for the family, the experience had been both visual and educational.
“I leave with a feeling to do more research,” said Ms. Caitlin Wolf, a graduate student of museum studies.
As the emcees explained, China is a place Shen Yun cannot perform. Under years of atheist communist rule, the divinely inspired culture was once almost lost. Established in 2006, through dance, song, and live orchestral music, the show brings to life legends and heroes from China’s long and rich history.
Seeing classical Chinese dance for the first time, Andrea Wolf and her daughter Caitlin were taken by the grace of it.
“I love the color … the gracefulness of the dance,” Mrs. Mack added. “It’s sort of uplifting because of the color. And magical.”
The family had been interested in the unique sound of the orchestra as well, and tried to take a glance at the instruments during intermission.
The music, while classical, blends East and West unlike any other orchestra.
“It’s expansive, and you can definitely see the undertones of Western influence because of the Western instruments,” Mr. Wolf said. Traditional Chinese instruments like the pipa, or Chinese lute, and the two-stringed erhu are blended into a Western symphony, and with no disparity in sound, Mr. Wolf noticed.
“There’s some practice in understanding that integration and the combination of the ancient instrumentation with the Western orchestra,” Mr. Wold said. “Very interesting.”
Mr. Wolf added that Shen Yun left him with an uplifting, hopeful feeling.
“It’s educational, certainly,” Mr. Wolf said. “For me, it’s enlightening.”
Reporting by Gary Wang and 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.