COSTA MESA, Calif.—Thrilled by Shen Yun Performing Arts the past two years, Silvia Ichar was delighted to be in the audience for the third year, on April 13, at the Segerstrom Center for Arts.
Ms. Ichar is the founder and publisher of the Spanish woman’s magazine Para Todos, which translates in English as “For Everyone.” She launched her California-based magazine in 1995, and it has grown to be the leading Spanish language regional magazine in Southern California. In January 2011, it reached an online presence of 15.9 million monthly hits. Every year she makes sure, via her magazine, to let Para Todos readers know that Shen Yun is coming to the area so they can go and enjoy a performance.
Prior to coming to the United States, Ms. Ichar was also a college professor in Argentina for 18 years.
Completely charmed by Shen Yun performances, Ms. Ichar thought a simple sentence would express her Shen Yun experience: “It’s really a treasure!”
Shen Yun is a non-profit based in upstate New York and founded in 2006 by world class artists from around the world. Shen Yun continues to captive audiences around the world with an all-new performance each year. Their mission is to restore to the world the best of traditional Chinese culture, which was deeply rooted in a way of life that looked toward the divine for guidance.
The richness and beauty of the Shen Yun performances are build from an age old foundation that every ancient culture knew. “Throughout history almost every culture looked toward the divine for inspiration. Art was meant to uplift, bringing joy to both the people who created and experienced it. It is this principle that drives Shen Yun performers and their art,” states the Shen Yun website.
“It is never the same, you know,” said Ms. Ichar. “The clothing and everything is so beautiful. The job done is excellent, it’s exquisite.”
She enjoyed everything about Shen Yun: the scenery, the magnificent costumes, the original songs from the bel canto trained singers, and the lively digitally animated backdrop. Each part of the performance was gorgeous in her eyes.
However, it was the spirituality of traditional Chinese culture that transported her to a higher dimension, and allowed her to experience a magic that touched her soul and heart the most.
“In a spiritual way, [it’s] a very soulful message, they are phenomenal,” she said. “So spiritual, so beautifully done, soul dancing and singing and everything is so pure. I love it.”
“I believe it’s when they are dancing, all ladies, in such a beautiful harmonious way, and it’s like a message to the soul,” Ms. Ichar said.
Ms. Ichar could see that this soulfulness was intentional on the artists’ part. Learning about the people of China who meditate and want to better themselves through self cultivation, as Shen Yun artists do, even though the communist regime does not allow it, she was inspired.
She referred to the story-based dance based in today’s communist China, “The Steadfast Heart.” It showed the persecution of practitioners of the self-cultivation practice, Falun Dafa. The story unfolds as practitioners of Falun Dafa are meditating peacefully in a park in China, how the persecution plays out, and divine intervention.
“You know, I believe in Buddha, so when I saw that beautiful [part], it touched my soul. I love it,” she said.
“They transmit a beautiful message and it is fantastic,” Ms. Ichar said with enthusiasm. She wanted to urge more people to see it for themselves.
“You have to see it, you have to experience [it], you have to have that journey to so many years back [to ancient China]!”
Reporting by Marie-Paul Baxiu and Cheryl Casati
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.