HONOLULU, Hawaii—”It’s truly inspiring and beautiful,” said Dr. Braden Seamons after watching the first performance staged by the world-renowned Shen Yun Performing Arts International Company at Blaisdell Concert Hall on May 7.
Dr. Seamons specializes in periodontal laser surgery, laser gum surgery, and metal free dental implants. Honolulu Magazine listed Dr. Seamons in the 2012 Best Dentists in Hawaii. His private practice, PerioCare, is the only periodontal practice on Oahu offering Laser Periodontal Surgery.
Established by artists from around the world in 2006, New York-based Shen Yun is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to bringing 5,000 years of Chinese civilization to life through music and dance. It has quickly become an international sensation, with four companies simultaneously touring around the world.
“A Shen Yun performance features the world’s foremost classically trained dancers, a unique orchestra blending East and West, and dazzling animated backdrops—together creating one spectacular performance,” according to the Shen Yun website.
It was Dr. Seamons’ first experience of Shen Yun. “I’ve learned something new. I did not know those acrobatics moves originated with original Chinese ancient dance. And for that knowledge I am truly appreciative.”
“Classical Chinese dance has its own training in basic skills, physical expression and postures, leaps, flips, spins and other difficult tumbling techniques, forming an extensive and independent dance system,” explains the website. “Through the universal language of music and dance, Shen Yun weaves a wondrous tapestry of heavenly realms, ancient legends, and modern heroic tales, taking you on a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese culture.”
Dr. Seamons said he particularly enjoyed was Ne Zha Churns the Sea.
“Ne Zha Churns the Sea”, depicts a lady who gave birth to the mythical demi-god Ne Zha. He was first born out of a giant meat ball, and then was given a magic weapon by a Taoist master. Ne Zha overpowered the evil Dragon King that had terrorized the villagers, and freed the villagers from danger.
Dr. Seamons said, “I think stories of oppression in modern days China are sad, but it’s good to know. I am glad that I am more aware of it than I was before.”
One of the dance pieces entitled The Steadfast Lotus depicts the ongoing persecution of people who practice Falun Dafa, a spiritual meditation discipline based on truth, compassion, and tolerance. The persecution was instigated by the Chinese communist regime in 1999 and continues to this day.
Shen Yun Dance Is ‘Unbelievable’
Christine Carrier, a researcher at the University of Hawaii, was also captivated by the performance.
“I’m absolutely loving the show,” said Ms. Carrier.
With a background in ballet and martial arts, Ms. Carrier had a unique appreciation of the dancers and the training involved to produce Shen Yun, “To watch their movements, it’s unbelievable; my legs hurt just watching the things that they’re doing. The costumes are beautiful. The music is wonderful. I’m really enjoying it.”
At the core of a Shen Yun performance is Chinese dance, which is “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.”
Each piece, whether classical Chinese, folk, or ethnic dance, includes different costumes. “Every costume in a Shen Yun performance is presented with brilliant colors, displaying a splendid spectacle,” according to the website.
Another primary aspect of Shen Yun is the live music, with all of the dance pieces set to original scores played by the Shen Yun Orchestra. The orchestra is unique in that it combines Chinese instruments with a Western-style symphonic orchestra.
Ms. Carrier said she would definitely urge others to see Shen Yun.
Reporting by Jing Liang 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.
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.