ESCONDIDO—Lori Grimes, a musical theater director, left the California Center for the Arts in awe on Jan. 28, after attending a Shen Yun Performance.
“I loved it. It was really beautiful. It was much more emotional than I thought it was going to be,” Ms. Grimes said. ” I thought it was just going to be a performance of beautiful dance, which it was. But it was so much more emotional.”
“It was so much more spiritual than I thought it was going to be,” she said.
Shen Yun Performing Arts is a New York-based classical Chinese dance and music company that is celebrating 5,000 years of Chinese civilization.
As an expert in musical theater, Ms. Grimes said she was impressed by the costumes and props that she saw during the performance.
“I was trying to get ideas from the beautiful costumes—the scarves, the handkerchiefs!” Ms. Grimes said. “It was just so amazing.”
Shen Yun’s dazzling costumes vary from dragon robes, to phoenix coronets, to a traditional warrior’s helmet and armor and more.
Ms. Grimes called the performers’ synchronization perfect.
“The beauty…and the depth of culture—it was just overwhelming,” Ms. Grimes said. “The music was amazing.”
Each Shen Yun dance is accompanied by a live orchestra that consists of Eastern and Western instruments—where the grandeur of trumpets, cellos, violins harmonize the delicate tones of Chinese instruments.
Ms. Grimes felt there must have been a feeling of awe, seeing the traditional China, throughout the auditorium.
“I think the spiritual beauty, the costumes, and all of it together, was shocking,” she said. “It was all so beautiful.”
Ellen Gilbert, a nurse assistant who attended the performance with Ms. Grimes, had a similar reaction.
“I’m just so amazed,” Ms. Gilbert said. “It communicated so much of the Chinese mind and heart…the passions, the beauty, the pain, and of their history, and of the struggles they’re still having, and the spiritual nature of man.”
Ms. Gilbert was touched by the deep spirituality of traditional Chinese culture and left the auditorium with the feeling of hope.
“The hope that is common to man. That we have a future. That this life is not all there is,” Ms. Gilbert said. “To know that is in the heart of every culture, of humans, it made me cry.”
Ms. Grimes also spoke of feeling hope after watching the performance.
“The hope, that was the part that I got emotional about,” Ms. Grimes said. “The future hope.”
It was a performance they wanted to share.
“Oh everything, everything was fabulous,” Ms. Gilbert said. “I kept saying I want to bring my kids, I want to bring my kids.”
“I want to bring everyone to see it,” Ms. Grimes said.
Shen Yun also has two dances set in modern times that raise awareness to human rights abuses by the Chinese regime.
“So much of it really touched our hearts. We feel very deeply for our brothers and sisters in China and all those who have less freedom,” Ms. Gilbert said. “This is why we wanted to come, to support their voice.”
Reporting by Jane Yang and Amelia Pang
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.