Opera Singer Swept up by the Exuberance of Shen Yun Artists

March 9, 2019

NEW YORK—Just seeing the beauty of Shen Yun Performing Arts on stage changed the way John Cimino was breathing.

“Any time I see something and hear something that inspires me, I mean the music changes my breathing. I breathe more lightly, more completely,” said Cimino, who attended the March 8 performance at the David H. Koch Theater with his wife Dr. Rachel St-Vincent. Cimino, an award-winning baritone, has performed on that very same stage, with the New York City Opera.

“I will remember this for a long time, and when I compose my own music I will remember this inspiration,” he said.

“It’s a very happy experience. Also amazing dancing, most especially the dancing was incredible. They are so athletic and graceful, and artistic and inspired. They seem to float in the air. Most beautiful,” he said.

Cimino is also a champion of the arts, and has brought innovative arts programming into projects of the White House and Fortune 500 companies. He is also president and CEO of Associated Solo Artists, a non-profit driven by Cimino’s vision of the arts as a powerful catalyst for connectivity.

“I’m learning from this experience and I find it a great way to bring this into my world of understanding. I will tell my friends about this, this was a great time,” he said.

New York-based Shen Yun is the world’s premier classical Chinese dance company, and Cimino felt they certainly lived up to their name. As the emcees explained, “Shen Yun” translates into something like “the beauty of divine beings dancing.”

Through the arts, Shen Yun seeks to bring 5,000 years of divinely inspired Chinese civilization to life.

Cimino noted this in the music, which blends Chinese instruments into a Western classical orchestra, a technique he felt was executed perfectly for the dance vignettes he saw.

“Beautiful orchestration,” he said.

“The ideas of the composer were expressed through many different instruments in a very imaginative way, very exciting, never in any way distasteful or boring, always exuberant and full of life.”

But as Cimino is not a dancer himself, the artists on stage were what impressed him most.

“For me, the most fantastic of all is the dancing,” he said. “To see these dancers at such a high level of artistry and athleticism was just magnificent. … I hope we can come again next year and see it again.”

Dr. St-Vincent loved every aspect of the artistry displayed.

“I loved the music, the instruments were amazing and absolutely the dancing and the colors—the colors were just fascinating and I loved the costumes,” she said.

“It had a little bit of everything,” she said. “I had no idea what to expect, so a lot of it was surprising.”

With reporting by Sherry Dong.

The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time and has covered audience reactions since the company’s inception in 2006.