WASHINGTON—Sheila Allen, a musician, and her two daughters saw Shen Yun Performing Arts in Washington D.C. on March 28 as part of a Mother’s Day gift and were happy they made that choice.
“It was very well presented; we enjoyed it very much,” said Ms. Allen.
An experienced musician, Ms. Allen said the music in Shen Yun was “fabulous.”
“I loved the music, the way that they incorporated all of the traditional instruments. The musicians were fantastic. And the opera, Oh! Oh my gosh! I loved it,” she said.
The Shen Yun Orchestra is unique in that its original compositions blend ancient Chinese instruments, like the erhu and the pipa, with Western strings, percussion, woodwinds and brass.
“The result—two great classical music traditions producing one fresh, unexpected sound,” says the Shen Yun website.
Ms. Allen’s daughter, Tai, is a sports coordinator, coordinating leagues for different sports, so she particularly noticed the dance performances. She appreciated the explanations given by the emcees for each performance.
“I thought it was a very well-orchestrated performance,” she said. “I loved the beautiful costumes and the interpretation behind the dance; that was a real nice understanding, and to know in-between each one what they were trying to express.”
She also felt something more in the dancers’ performances which she said she “really enjoyed.”
“It seemed like the dancers really were [putting] heart and soul into the dance, and that is what it felt like they were emanating from their performances.
“And that they really enjoyed what they were doing, so that was refreshing,” she added.
Impressions of Culture
Tai said she had seen Shen Yun being promoted in the Mall where she shops and had finally been able to see Shen Yun after missing it last year. It was her idea to take her mother for Mother’s Day and her sister for the latter’s birthday.
“We thought it would be a really colorful event to come and see. I really had no idea it was going to be such a history class, which is great, so we got more than we expected,” Tia said.
She enjoyed the glimpse into traditional Chinese culture offered by Shen Yun.
“Obviously they have a long history and a deep seated culture, and they certainly have the intertwined humanity in with the spiritual realm,” she said.
Shen Yun’s performance of heavenly realms and the battles between good and evil interested Tai who noted “how it translates onto earth in the human realm.”
Shen Yun is a New York-based company dedicated to restoring and reving traditional Chinese culture.
Ms. Allen said she “liked that there was something for American people to learn from Shen Yun,” adding that “they are not in China but they are bringing a message of China to the American people, that is what I liked.”
Shen Yun raised awareness of some of the oppression going on in China, Ms. Allen noted. “Some day they will have got the freedom that other countries and other peoples enjoy,” she said.
Ms. Allen and Tai knew exactly what they would tell their friends about Shen Yun.
“Go see it!” they said.
“Anyone that is looking for an amazing show should go see Shen Yun,” said Tai.
Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company will perform at The Kennedy Center Opera House, Washington, D.C., through April 1.
For more information visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org