PHOENIX—When audience members say Shen Yun Performing Arts is like nothing they have seen, they are seldom exaggerating.
“We’ve been to a lot of shows in Las Vegas and seen things in other places. I would say, as far as the dance and the way they put it all together with the costumes, this is one of the more unique things I’ve ever seen,” Lisa Lawrence said during intermission of the Shen Yun performance the afternoon of April 2 at the Orpheum Theatre.
Mrs. Lawrence is the founder and sole owner of Aspen Systems, a software company in Phoenix. A few weeks prior to the show, Lisa noticed something in the mail. “It was a very nice expensive brochure. I’m familiar with advertisement and I thought ‘Boy! They put a lot of money into this brochure’ and it caused me to open it, read the descriptions and the reviews. I thought maybe this is something unique, or different that we have not done before.”
With the mission to revive divinely inspired culture, Shen Yun draws upon 5,000 years of civilization and brings alive on stage the ancient Chinese pursuit of oneness between man and heaven through music and dance.
“I’m just enjoying every single sequence,” Mrs. Lawrence said. “The music is fantastic. The costumes are gorgeous. They’re doing a great job. Everyone here is so amazingly talented. They are so young, yet they can do all the things they do at such a young age, it’s just amazing.”
Many audience members resonate with the performance, regardless of cultural background.
Mrs. Lawrence and her husband Don Lawrence are both Christians. Mr. Lawrence is the founding Pastor of Christ’s Church of Fountain Hills where he has ministered since 1984. He said, “I thought there were a lot of similarities when we talk about God, about heaven, about earth, about being temporary on earth. I thought there were a lot of commonalities.”
Mrs. Lawrence mentioned one piece that depicts an elderly couple’s unwavering faith in the spiritual practice Falun Dafa. She said, “I was also thinking of the persecution of the Christians in China during that sequence. I felt there’s some similarities.”
Regarding Shen Yun’s efforts to revive the traditions, Mrs. Lawrence said, “I’m glad they are keeping these traditions alive. I think it would have been so sad if they had just gone by the wayside. The dance is so beautiful. I think it is really important that Shen Yun can come to America, where they are free to express themselves. I feel grateful for Shen Yun dancers to continue the traditions.”
Mr. Lawrence also spoke highly of the solo performers and the Shen Yun Orchestra. He said, “Very talented singers and very beautiful music. The pianist was extraordinary as well.”
Shen Yun Performing Arts is the world premier classical Chinese dance and music company. The expressiveness and the difficult techniques of this dance form impressed Mr. Lawrence. “The thing that impresses me is the athleticism. The heights they get with the jumps and the kicks and the flexibility. When they can hold their legs way up over their head. It makes me sore just thinking about it, but they are very, very talented.”
“It’s enjoyable to be able to communicate without really using words. While they dance, they use their body expressions. Of course it’s been set up with the narrators, who do a good job explaining what’s going to be happening. But you can see that coming through the dancers’ body movements. The choreography is very captivating.”
Mr. Lawrence noted that he would encourage people to watch Shen Yun. “I think it’s very entertaining, but also very meaningful to be aware of other cultures and of the persecution. It is very enlightening.”
Reporting by Qian Zhang and Sophia Fang
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.