Movements of Shen Yun Dancers ‘Encapsulate Divinity,’ Bring Hope to Mesa Audience

February 18, 2023 ShareSHARE

MESA, Ariz.—The culture, memories, and deep emotions of stories from ancient China were conveyed through movement and music by the artists of Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Ikeda Theater at Mesa Arts Center on the evening of Feb. 17, and they were felt deeply by Ms. Victoria Stuart.

“I feel a lot of love. I also feel a lot of hope,” said Ms. Stuart, who noticed even “a bit of despair … and they portrayed it very beautifully.”

New York-based Shen Yun is the world’s premier classical Chinese dance company, credited for reviving a 5,000-year civilization. China was once known by monickers such as the “Land of the Divine” and the “Celestial Empire,” and Shen Yun’s mission is to revive this divinely inspired culture through the universal languages of music and dance.

“I think it’s beautiful,” said Ms. Stuart, who attended the performance with her fiancé Brett Stuart. “I love the way they portrayed femininity and masculinity. I really enjoy the articulate dances and the way that the colors are portrayed throughout the scenes. I love the stories and just the emotions throughout it.”

Mr. Stuart was greatly impressed with the level of skill the artists possessed.

“I’d highly recommend it if you’re interested in learning a bit more about the culture and Chinese dance. I think I’m learning a lot,” he said. “I think it’s really great and it’s been a really beautiful dance so far. Wonderful.”

‘Beyond Beauty’

The name “Shen Yun” translates into “the beauty of divine beings dancing.” For McCloud Bastidas, photographer, that touch of the divine reached him.

“It’s beyond beauty. It’s unique. It’s so unique. It’s different. It brings culture back to this beautiful place that we need to have more in this country,” Mr. Bastidas said.

“It’s divine. It’s so inspirational. It gives hope and brings messages to awareness about what’s going on in the world,” he said.

The dancers were able to convey these inspirational messages without using a single word, Mr. Bastidas added.

“The color, the design, the way they perform, the way they move, the way they talk—they just talk to you by their movement and it’s so expressive,” he said.

“I was tired today but when I came in and just felt their energy, their way they can talk to you by just by their movement, the way they can express their music and vibration just lifted my spirit up today.”

Epoch Times Photo
McCloud Bastidas enjoyed Shen Yun at the Ikeda Theater at Mesa Arts Center, on the evening of Feb. 17, 2023. (Sherry Dong/The Epoch Times)

“I’ve been going through a lot through my life and I just came today and and I just felt so happy leaving now,” Mr. Bastidas said. “It’s like a light through the whole darkness of your life. It just brings so much happiness.”

“There’s hope for this world. For humanity,” he said.

‘Right in Your Heart’

Nino Daniel, dancer and creative director, was thoroughly inspired by the experience.

“I think for me being able to watch something like that, and seeing the way that the dancers communicate with each other, the way that they’re so thoroughly trained, the way they understand how to maneuver their costumes and their props really taught me to focus in on my craft a little bit more, and have a lot more consistency in what I’m doing. It was very beautiful,” he said.

“My gosh, there were at least two or three times where I cried,” he said, “just because it was so moving to see the way that the dancers not only were able to execute their moves, but the way they accented what was happening with the music.”

“There was a full production, and it’s just like when you see everything come together with the dance, with the costumes and the music, it was very just—it hits you right in your heart,” he said.

“And I think the beauty of it was very just perfect—it was very delicious. I would say that loud,” he said.

“I think the story that we were told showed that there is a way that art preserves history,” he said. “And I think what’s inspiring is that dance has no limitations, music has no limitations, history has no limitations.”

“I think the essence has this essence of purity. There was nothing that was raunchy or negative, it was very just pure dance. And you can tell the essence of purity was within every dancer’s heart. The way they moved their body, the way they got to land on their cue, it was very just pure,” he said.

Epoch Times Photo
Nino Daniel enjoyed Shen Yun at the Ikeda Theater at Mesa Arts Center, on the evening of Feb. 17, 2023. (Sherry Dong/The Epoch Times)

Mr. Daniel felt that this purity was something Shen Yun’s artists needed in order to convey the stories and scenes of divinity, of heaven, and of the Creator’s hand in establishing humankind and civilization.

“I don’t know how to describe it but it was just—oh. Like you take a big deep breath and you’re like, oh my gosh. Like we’re really here. And it made me feel like I wasn’t even watching a show. It made me feel like I was in that world,” he said.

I think this perfectly encapsulates divinity and purity in art form because you’re talking about the Creator. You’re talking about why we’re all here, and where we plan to go when we move on out of this life.
— Nino Daniel

“I think this perfectly encapsulates divinity and purity in art form because you’re talking about the Creator. You’re talking about why we’re all here, and where we plan to go when we move on out of this life. And getting to tell the story through dance was just absolutely stunning.”

“For me, it definitely strengthened my faith. There were messages that were talking about do not sell your soul, make sure you show gratitude to your Creator. And that was something that for me was—just like strengthening my faith. Because even though there are things going on in my life, in your life, in everyone’s life, this definitely taught me to bring it back into faith,” Mr. Daniel said.

Also in the audience was the Baker family, who conveyed their awe at Shen Yun’s beauty and bravery.

“Their graceful moves are what is unbelievable, how graceful they are, and yet powerful in the moves that they make,” said Brigham Baker, dentist. “It’s gorgeous, everything is beautiful.”

Hayley Baker added that the performance was resonating with “good values,” and the family added that they really applauded the artists for bravely persisting in their mission of reviving traditional culture in the face of the persecution people of faith face in China under communist rule.

“They’re brave,” Ms. Baker said.

“We applaud them for doing that. We really honor them for doing that,” Mrs. Baker added.

Reporting by Sherry Dong and Mary Mann.

The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of Shen Yun Performing Arts. We have covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.

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