Photographer: Shen Yun, ‘The eighth wonder of the world’

January 28, 2016

ESCONDIDO, Calif.—There’s something special about Shen Yun Performing Arts that has theatergoers returning year after year. Joe Heard and his wife saw the performance for the sixth time Jan. 27 at California Center for the Arts.

Mr. Heard, who describes himself as a lifelong photographer, had a new insight this year.

“I thought of something today that I hadn’t thought of before about this show. You know there are seven wonders of the world. I’ve seen several of those, but honestly, for anyone who hasn’t seen this, they’re missing the eighth wonder of the world,” he said.

Mr. Heard said he enjoyed the performance tremendously and that every year it’s fantastic. “Honestly,” he added, “this is the best one I’ve seen out of all of them. Perfect.”

Shen Yun is a New York-based classical Chinese dance and music company that tours throughout the world each year with an entirely new performance, from the richly colored costumes, the story-based vignettes, the digital, animated backdrops, to the orchestral arrangement.

Audiences are taken on a 5,000-year journey of Chinese civilization, which is believed to be divinely inspired. From the Yellow Emperor descending to Earth and ruling China, to the Tang and Song Dynasties, through to modern times, “mortals and divine beings merge on stage as one,” according to Shen Yun’s website. “Principles such as benevolence and justice, propriety and wisdom, respect for the heavens, and divine retribution, all come to life, washing over the audience.”

Mr. Heard was particularly moved by the last piece, “Hope for the Future,”  in which faithful people in modern times are persecuted but, ultimately, triumph.

“This one brought tears to my eyes because I could relate to the later years in China, and it’s just fantastic to see it,” he said. “It brought tears to my eyes just to see it. The history, the history of the world is what this is all about. And to me, it’s the greatest thing.”

Each time Mr. Heard watches Shen Yun, he feels something special that he wants others to experience.

“I can’t say enough about it,” he said. “[People] have no idea of what they’re missing until they come here and see this show. I brought guests with us today, and the lady, this year is her first time, and she had tears in her eyes. So that made my day.”

Reporting by NTD Television and Albert Roman

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.