SAN DIEGO, Calif.—Mr. Jim Stalnaker, a production supervisor in manufacturing, and his wife were among the sold-out audience in attendance watching, and giving a standing ovation to Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company at the California Center for the Arts on March 2.
“Right now I’m still taking in all the dance and the play itself,” said Mr. Stalnaker. “The visual presentation is amazing! Costumes are just perfect! I think they certainly excite the eye.”
Setting each dance is an animated digital backdrop, which at times interacts with the dancers. The website explains: “With state-of-the-art graphics technology, 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.”
Each piece, whether classical Chinese, folk, or ethnic dance, includes different costumes. “Every costume in a Shen Yun performance is presented with brilliant colors, displaying a splendid spectacle,” states the website.
Independent and nonprofit, New York-based Shen Yun was established in 2006 by artists from around the world with the mission to revive China’s divinely inspired traditional Chinese culture through music and dance.
According to the Shen Yun website, “A Shen Yun performance features the world’s foremost classically trained dancers, a unique orchestra blending East and West, and dazzling animated backdrops—together creating one spectacular performance.”
“I thought it was a tremendous … I mean, all the dances were amazing, but I’m a big fan of music, so the music is wonderful,” he said. “Adding that additional piece—the dancers having to be in rhythm and dance with the sound of the sticks … I thought it was amazing!”
According to the website, “Through the universal language of music and dance, Shen Yun weaves a wondrous tapestry of heavenly realms, ancient legends, and modern heroic tales, taking you on a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese culture. Its stunning beauty and tremendous energy leave audiences uplifted and inspired.”
Mr. Stalnaker was particularly struck by the Mongolian Chopsticks dance. He said, “I love the chopsticks dance.”
Shen Yun’s program describes the dance: “Alternating between fast, furious footwork and long, extended arm movements, Mongolian dance is a vivid testament to free-spirited vitality and boundless, expansive expression. Dancers use chopsticks to create a crisp, staccato beat that quickens the blood and stirs the heart.”
Mr. Stalnaker was enchanted by the Shen Yun orchestra. “It’s absolutely wonderful!” he said.
“The Shen Yun Orchestra masterfully blends two of the world’s greatest classical music traditions. Ancient Chinese instruments such as the soul-stirring erhu and the delicate pipa lead the melody on top of a full orchestra of Western strings, percussion, woodwinds, and brass. The Western orchestra with its energy and grandeur, and the Chinese instruments with their distinct tones and styles, create a dramatic new sound,” describes the website.
In conclusion, Mr. Stalnaker exclaimed, “It’s just a wonderful experience to see the dance and the music, and just a wonderful time!” He said he would absolutely recommend Shen Yun to his friends.
Reporting by Jane Yang and Thanh Le
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.
The 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.