PORTLAND, Ore.—Charles Heath, who works in golf advertising and marketing, felt a special affinity for Shen Yun after visiting China eight years ago to help build a medical, dental, and educational school.
“Phenomenal. Mesmerizing,” he said after experiencing Shen Yun at Portland’s Keller Auditorium on Jan. 17. “Very creative. Energetic. Artistic. Beautiful. Graceful. Really incredible.”
“For 5,000 years divine culture flourished in the land of China,” reads Shen Yun’s website. “Humanity’s treasure was nearly lost, but through breathtaking music and dance, Shen Yun is bringing back this glorious culture.”
For Mr. Heath, the attire worn by the dancers made a lasting impression on him, but even more so did “the discipline. You can tell the work that goes into it behind the scenes. The production—it’s very impressive,” he said.
Classical Chinese dance is a demanding feat of physical agility. It requires learning combinations of leaps, turns, flips, spins, and other aerial and tumbling techniques that come together to form a vast and independent system of dance, according to the Shen Yun website.
The dance, however, is only one facet of a Shen Yun performance whose “stunning beauty and tremendous energy leave audiences uplifted and inspired,” according to Shen Yun’s website.
“I think more than anything else, the energy comes through in the performers,” Mr. Heath said. “You can tell they love what they do. Balanced with the orchestra that you cannot see, the music—there’s harmony to the entire production that is very entertaining. It’s pleasing.
Shen Yun’s orchestra combines the sounds of East and West, utilizing the beauty of Chinese instruments with the grandeur and precision of Western orchestration.
Mr. Heath also noted that although such a performance cannot be seen in China today, where traditional culture has been nearly wiped out under 60 years of communist rule, Shen Yun provides a kind of hope, graceful but all-encompassing. “There’s something in the performers that they are trying to bring out,” he said.
“To me, that overcomes some of the tragedies in China.”
Reporting by Chen Si and Michael Fitzgerald
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.