PROVIDENCE, R.I.—Alfonso Acevedo, president and editor-in-chief of Rhode Island’s first Spanish newspaper, America News, felt Shen Yun Performing Arts could influence the world after seeing it for the first time at the Providence Performing Arts Center, Feb. 22.
Mr. Acevedo, who has published America News for 22 years, first learned about New York-based Shen Yun while researching multicultural events to write about in his paper. The first thing that struck him was that Shen Yun was not a company formed in China.
“There’s something special about this show,” was Mr. Acevedo’s first impression. He quickly learned that Shen Yun also combined a digital backdrop with traditional Chinese dance, and blends East and West in the accompanying orchestra.
Shen Yun was formed in 2006 with the mission of reviving 5,000 years of Chinese civilization through the performing arts.
As a singer, art teacher, frequent patron of dance, and multicultural publisher, this was a performance not to be missed, he thought. “So I’ve got to see this, I’ve got to see this show,” Mr. Acevedo said.
Mr. Acevedo was not disappointed.
Beyond the artistic presentation, Mr. Acevedo said he captured a universal message that hit his heart.
“As humans, everybody has the sense of spiritual perception in life,” Mr. Acevedo said. It was a comprehensive message of the spirituality of human beings, he said, but not one that is religious. He felt it especially through the bel canto solo vocalists.
“I feel very connected to the singers,” Mr. Acevedo said.
The orchestra was profound for Mr. Acevedo as well. With the mixing of the traditional Chinese instruments into a full Western symphony, Mr. Acevedo said he felt the music was easily understood by someone with a Western background.
“I feel in my heart the sounds of China are mostly sentimental—most nostalgic—I feel very happy, and spiritual,” Mr. Acevedo said.
“I think the music transmitted some very deeper sentiment from Chinese people to the people around the world.”
As a journalist from South America, Mr. Acevedo said one of the reasons he moved to the United States was for the freedom of speech and freedom of press.
Here, he is more free to think and express his ideas, and Mr. Acevedo said he felt Shen Yun was also expressing its freedoms.
As the emcees had explained, China is the only place Shen Yun cannot perform.
Mr. Acevedo was touched by the idea that not only would the international audience watching Shen Yun feel that freedom of expression, but the Chinese people could also feel their identity more freely through Shen Yun as well.
“They can influence and bring to the audience not just the joy, the joy for the artistic performance, but the message,” Mr. Acevedo said.
“I think the influence will be very, very clear, and very good,” Mr. Acevedo said.
Reporting by NTD Television and Catherine Yang
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.