LOS ANGELES—If you’ve ever wondered what the Manchurian princesses of the Qing Dynasty were like, where the Monkey King got his magical weapon, or how China’s longest reigning emperor nearly lost his throne as a child, Shen Yun Performing Arts is the place to find out. It seems to condense all of the 5,000 years of Chinese civilization into a performance of under three hours.
It certainly felt that way for Michael Solomon, an entertainment executive who has spent his entire career growing media businesses.
At age 18, he began his career in film distribution at United Artists. By 30, he was a vice president at MCA, now Universal NBC. He went on to found several companies, including Truli Media Group, and Telepictures, which became one of the largest U.S. TV syndication companies of its time, and led to his becoming a president of international television at Warner Bros.
In his 50 or so years in the business, he became one of the largest distributors of television content.
After seeing Shen Yun, he felt this was something he wanted to share too. He enjoyed the professional display of China’s rich history, and said he would be recommending it to friends. Mr. Solomon had attended the April 24 performance at the Microsoft Theater with his wife, Italian-born actress Luciana Paluzzi.
The historical events, myths, and legends of China, once known as the Divine Land, come to life on stage as it is New York-based Shen Yun’s mission to revive this ancient culture, which is not found in China today. As communism took power in 1949, traditional values, beliefs, structures, and art forms like the classical Chinese dance—which is the essence of Shen Yun’s work–were all but wiped away.
Thus it was educational on top of being top notch entertainment, according to Mr. Solomon.
“It was really very exciting,” said Mr. Solomon. “I loved it because I loved the stories. They depicted the stories, so this was very educational as well as cultural.”
The stories ranged from “The Mystical Udumbara,” a tiny flower said to bloom once every 3,000 years, to “Monks and the Red Guard,” set in the 1960s with a group of Buddhist monks with supernatural powers.
“I learned some of the history … and China’s history is the oldest history in the world. And I benefited from it,” he said. “I learned something.”
“The dancers were magnificent, they were just beautiful,” he 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.
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.