LAS VEGAS—Dancer and pianist Brenda Fitz and auto mechanic Douglas Schmidt were given two tickets for Shen Yun Performing Arts as a Christmas present, and they attended the final sold-out performance at Reynolds Hall in the Smith Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday, Feb. 23.
“It has spirituality in it. It has history, it has culture, and it has grandeur. It has athleticism,” said Ms. Fitz. “I absolutely would recommend it and I would see it again.”
Brenda Fitz is a professional pianist, piano instructor, and composer, and has composed music for film scores and commercials. She has performed professionally for live performances, various international soundtracks, and albums. She is also a belly dancer and African dancer.
New York-based Shen Yun’s website says, “For 5,000 years, divine culture flourished in the land of China. Humanity’s treasure was nearly lost, but through breathtaking music and dance, Shen Yun is bringing back this glorious culture.”
“Wonderful show,” said Mr. Schmidt. “Perfectly choreographed, and the music and accompaniment were outstanding.”
Ms. Fitz was especially enchanted by the musical soloist who played the Chinese instrument called the erhu.
“The solo between the erhuist and the pianist was phenomenal,” she said, breaking into tears. She said the skill and control of the artist combined with a hushed, single, solitary note at the beginning and the end of the piece was incredibly moving. “It brings tears because it’s just so well played,” she said.
From a dancing perspective, Ms. Fitz said she could see how different dances from across the world were influenced by Chinese dance.
“To me [Chinese dance] is like the origin. It seems more rooted in culture, and I think some of the stuff that we learned is like an extension of the roots, and things have been changed over time. So this was really beautiful to me. It was like seeing where it came from,” said Ms. Fitz.
Ms. Fitz was also very impressed by Shen Yun’s costumes and said they were an enormous contribution to the entire performance.
“It looks completely different, in our practice rehearsal versus when you’re standing on a stage, because the costume makes the dance,” she said. “In here, the costumes are just enormous. Not themselves, but what they present to an audience. It’s just so grand.”
According to Shen Yun’s website, “Shen Yun cannot be seen in China today, where traditional culture has been nearly lost. Yet Shen Yun—a non-profit organization—has become an international phenomenon, bringing the wonders of ancient Chinese culture to millions across the globe.”
Ms. Fitz said she appreciated being able to watch such a beautiful cultural performance, knowing that it is blocked and suppressed in China. She was also grateful to attend a performance in Las Vegas with such a deeper meaning.
“Living here, you get everything glossy,” she said. “Everything is polished shows, flashy, and they sometimes forget about the meaning of things. You go see a show and you leave, and you talk about the effects and lighting and the dancing. Then you walk away and you don’t think too much about it. Whereas this I think has a deeper message.”
Ms. Fitz said she was very touched by three Chinese words that were shared in the performance—Zhen, Shan, Ren—meaning Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance.
“[That’s] a message right there, those three simple words,” she said. “If anybody can just remember that, that’s, you know, mission accomplished.”
“I would say we’ll be back next year,” said Mr. Schmidt.
Reporting by Yaning Liu and Sarah 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.
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.