COSTA MESA, Calif.—Dozens of Shen Yun dancers move on stage as if part of one body, with exacting precision and infinite grace.
This experience left president of local radio news service Inland Empire News Radio Jim Ness impressed with what the dancers were able to pull off.
“I think the one thing that shines [through the performance] is the dedication these people have to do what they do,” he said.
“I have no idea how many hours they put in doing this, but it really comes through.”
Ness attended Shen Yun Performing Arts with Myriam Grajales-Hall, retired communications manager at the University of California, at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California, on April 18.
Shen Yun is the leading classical Chinese dance company whose mission is to spread traditional Chinese culture through music and dance. It performs a two-hour long program that includes a mix of classical dance vignettes, musical soloists, and stories told through dance.
Ness heads Inland Empire News Radio, a radio news network servicing radio stations in Riverside and San Bernardino counties in Southern California. His news broadcast career has spanned more than four decades.
The news broadcaster appreciated how the dance movements could be used tell a story, and still retain its beauty and delicacy. The humor conveyed in some of the stories was also a pleasant surprise.
Grajales-Hall, who has never been to China, loved how the performance was able to transport her to the ancient land, to somewhere she had always wanted to go.
“It was beautifully done, and that was to be immersed in the Chinese culture, which is so ancient; and so much history,” she said.
She was struck by the theme of good and evil, which was threaded throughout the performance, from the opening scene depicting the creation of Chinese civilization to the closing act, set in modern-day China.
The messages behind the last segment, titled “The Final Moment,” were particularly poignant, Grajales-Hall said. The piece depicted certain trends in modern society, as well as the suppression of faith under China’s communist regime.
“Closing with the last scene there to see that people still care, that we might be immersed in ourselves with self-centeredness, with cell phones, but at the end, we care for each other, and that’s what we needed,” she said.
Overall, the performance left Grajales-Hall’s feeling a sense of amazement.
“It was just a unique experience,” Grajales-Hall said.
“It was a really, truly fabulous afternoon.”
With reporting by Linda Jiang.
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time and has covered audience reactions since the company’s inception in 2006.