Opera House Icon Jayne Davis: Shen Yun Is ‘Fabulous’

January 12, 2015 7:52 pm Last Updated: January 12, 2015 7:52 pm

SAN FRANCISCO—Jayne Davis has been involved in opera for 40 years all over the world.

Board member of the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House Association and chairperson of the opera training Merola Opera Program, Ms. Davis was impressed by the Shen Yun Performing Arts presentation.

“It’s fabulous!” she said.

New York-based Shen Yun is a glimpse into China’s divinely-inspired 5,000-year-old culture, a vision created by a talented team of Chinese artists.

Forming its first touring company in 2006, Shen Yun set out to reawaken authentic Chinese culture, decimated under more than 60 years of communist rule. Today, in its ninth season, Shen Yun has grown to four companies performing simultaneously in more than 100 cities globally.

“You’re getting a wonderful house, a wonderful house!” Ms. Davis said of the Jan. 11 performance she attended. “You know, lots and lots of people are here. You know what I mean by that? Most of your seats are sold.”

Shen Yun’s website explains why the classical Chinese dance and music company is drawing full houses, not just in San Francisco, but worldwide.

“Sophisticated dance techniques, an orchestra joining instruments from both the East and West, beautiful costumes, and a stunning backdrop—this is Shen Yun at first glance. But digging deeper, one discovers a sea of traditional Chinese culture. Mortals and divine beings merge on stage as one. Principles such as benevolence and justice, propriety and wisdom, respect for the heavens, and divine retribution, all come to life, washing over the audience. Originating from Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism, these ideals are the essence of traditional Chinese culture.”

The projections are so extraordinary.
— Jayne Davis
“It’s fabulous. We want to know who does the projections. The projections are so extraordinary; I mean, the dances are just amazing,” Ms. Davis said. “Where the dragon comes out and the tiger goes poof, you know, all of that. We need that in opera. But it’s very expensive.”

“Shen Yun’s digital-backdrop team creates vividly animated settings, extending the stage and transporting the audience to a world where heaven and earth are one,” the website states. They are magical windows to completely different realms that seamlessly interact with the dancers.

The Merola Opera Program was named after Gaetano Morelo, who founded the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House in 1923. In partnership with the San Francisco Opera Guild, some 65,000 students have passed through the Merola Opera training program since its inception.

Reporting by Jennifer Liang and Raiatea Tahana-Reese

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.

Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reaction since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.