ATLANTA—After supporting Shen Yun Performing Arts for two years, radio show host S.C. Polite finally experienced it for the first time at its final evening performance of the Atlanta series on Dec. 29.
With a huge smile, he said, “I was absolutely amazed.”
Mr. Polite hurried to Atlanta from his coastal Georgia Christmas trip to see Shen Yun. He has featured Shen Yun on his show “Beasts From the East,” which is dedicated to Asian music. He has listeners from North America to Europe and Asia.
Even before seeing Shen Yun, Mr. Polite investigated how to invite the company to perform in Athens, Georgia.
He said he was astonished by the combination of elaborate songs and music, as well as the inspiring drumming. What struck him most was “the message of the importance of culture and heritage, and remembering one’s history—and the history of the wonderful and beautiful people of China through the 5,000 years.”
Mr. Polite was touched by the two dances set in contemporary China. The Steadfast Lotus went to his heart. “I was really about to, I was on the verge of tears,” he said.
According to the program, “In a plot that mirrors countless present-day stories of Chinese families torn apart, the daughter endures tribulations searching for her mother, until her steadfast faith gives her newfound hope.”
Speaking as a music aficionado, Mr. Polite added that “the operatic pieces were quite stunning,” and he connected the song lyrics to the faith of the daughter in “The Steadfast Lotus.”
He said he also enjoyed how the words of the vocal solos were displayed in both languages, in both Chinese and English.
Shen Yun’s lyrics are projected in calligraphy onto a full screen, upon a realistic landscape or a painting. Mr. Polite noted that the lyrics referred to Falun Dafa. “It was very well-placed, it didn’t feel forced,” he said. “It definitely played upon my curiosity about it, and I definitely look forward to learning more about it.”
Mr. Polite responded to the mix of current history, ancient history, and legends in Shen Yun: “Keeping up with the struggles, it really combines to make for an entertaining and a very educational experience.”
On the lighter side, he said “The Monkey King Thwarts the Evil Toad” amused him. With his “knowledge of some of the old stories, such as the legend of the old Monkey King, to just see it take visual form here was just stunning.”
He wondered how the dancers managed not to laugh. “Oh my goodness gracious. Oh my gosh! I was up in crunches! I really admire the frog costume. The performers had to be so resolute and to hold it together because I was in stitches! But it was absolutely magnificent,” he said, laughing again as he remembered how Monkey King trounces a shape-shifting, mean, flying, princess-stealing, sneaky, magic amphibian.
Knowing that the artists of Shen Yun often read the interviews given by audience members, Mr. Polite said that “I would very much be honored,” to tell them how he feels about their work.
Mr. Polite added he would like to pass on that all “the singers, the dancers, and the orchestra have done a magnificent job. You have done a wonderful deed telling outsiders … of the wonder of the Chinese culture … It’s to the world’s benefit because we got to embrace it.”
“I look forward to see it continue on what has been a glorious eight years,” he concluded.
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.