Mixed Media Artist in Awe of Shen Yun’s Artistry

April 16, 2016 1:05 am Last Updated: April 16, 2016 10:01 am

COSTA MESA, Calif.—Millions of theatergoers around the world have expressed praise for Shen Yun Performing Arts over the past 10 years. This was no different for Gloria Walter, who watched a sold out performance at Segerstrom Center for the Arts Thursday, April 14, 2016.

“I loved it. I loved it from beginning to end. It’s the best show I’ve ever seen,” she said after the performance.

Ms. Walter is an accomplished artist in mixed media, which is a combination of watercolor and acrylic in painting.

For 5,000 years, a divinely-inspired culture flourished in the land of China, the company’s website states. Yet in recent decades, the traditional culture and beliefs have been nearly destroyed under the Chinese communist regime.

Through breathtaking music and dance, the independent, non-profit Shen Yun Performing Arts based in New York brings back this glorious culture, and shares it with the world.

Shen Yun’s performance consists of 20 vignettes that are accompanied by an interactive digital backdrop, an orchestra that combines a unique blend of Chinese and Western instruments, and 400 original and handcrafted costume pieces that are used to adorn dancers who perform classical Chinese dance, as well as ethnic and folk dances.

Each vignette displays different, brilliantly-colored costumes that are a spectacle in themselves. Whether it be Tibetan or Mongolian ethnic attire, or that of the Tang and Qing Dynasties, Shen Yun’s costumes are a feast for the eyes.

Ms. Walter enjoyed the color coordination between the costumes and the digital backdrop. She marveled at the synchronicity between the dancers and the digital backdrop when she watched dancers came down from the sky, and appeared on stage, and vice versa.

According to it’s website, with state-of-the-art graphics technology, Shen Yun’s digital-backdrop team creates vividly animated settings, extending the stage and transporting the audience to a world where heaven and earth are one.

I’d like to paint a picture of it.
— Gloria Walter

Painting all her life, Ms. Walter was inspired by Shen Yun’s artistry. To her every vignette was a beautiful work of art.

“I’d like to paint a picture of it,” said Ms. Walter.

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Shen Yun Performing Arts Company's curtain call at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa mesa. (Courtesy of NTD Television)
Shen Yun Performing Arts Company’s curtain call at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa mesa. (Courtesy of NTD Television)

Also in attendance among the full house audience at Segerstrom Center for the Arts on April 14 were John Depko and his wife, Wendy.

Mr. Depko is a self-employed criminal defense investigator, searching for truth in maximum-security prisons and at crime scenes by verifying and validating all that has been done by the investigating police department.

About six years ago, he retired as a senior investigator for the Orange County Public Defender, after providing legal criminal defense to the poor for more than 35 years.

He is a frequent guest speaker at local high schools, lecturing about the consequences of having a criminal record.

“It’s absolutely wonderful,” said Mr. Depko at the intermission.

“I am loving it,” added Mrs. Depko who is a fine art artist, specialized in painting and sculpting.

At the heart of a Shen Yun performance is classical Chinese dance. “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,” states the company’s website.

Within the aesthetic beauty of each vignette in a Shen Yun performance is an inextricable connection between the arts and heaven. The performers incorporate meditation and introspective study into their daily routines. “For them, this spiritual connection is the motivation for striving to excel, is the heart behind each movement of the dancer and each note of the musician. It is why audiences can feel there is something different about Shen Yun,” according to Shen Yun’s website.

Impressed by classical Chinese dance and Shen Yun’s performers, Mr. Depko said, “They are so light on their feet, it’s hard to believe they’re human the way they move through the air.”

He was amazed by the choreography and discipline of the dancers: “It’s amazing to see they’re all so completely in tune with each other.”

Mrs. Depko was captivated by the synchronization between the dancers and the music: “It’s so easy to lose one, watching the dancing as part of the music. It’s all one song, one piece of music.”

But it was not just the grace and athleticism of Shen Yun’s dancers that impressed Mr. Depko. He said he was inspired by the stories and history conveyed through the performance.

Shen Yun’s artists use classical Chinese dance and animated backdrops to transport the audience members on a journey through China’s culture and beliefs, where myths and legends come to life, and virtues such as bravery, compassion, kindness, loyalty and perseverance are personified.

In summarizing his experience at Shen Yun, Mr. Depko said, “I can’t believe that I’m seeing what I’m seeing. It’s very wonderful.”

Reporting by NTD Television 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.

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.