SEATTLE—Watching Shen Yun Performing Arts was a family affair for Darcia Olsen, resort owner, who attended the performance with her mother, Delores Wegner, her two siblings, and their spouses.
“It was beautiful,” Olsen said after watching the performance at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall in Seattle, Washington, on April 6.
“I was really amazed with the physicality, the ability of the dancers to do so much, I admire that.”
The classical Chinese dance company performed in Seattle as part of its 2019 world tour, which will see its six touring contingents travel to more than 130 cities across four continents. Founded in 2006, the New York-based company seeks to transmit genuine Chinese culture to modern audiences through music and dance.
The company’s dancers are masters in classical Chinese dance, an ancient art form refined over thousands of years of development. With a catalogue of difficult flips and tumbling techniques, as well as specialized physical movements and expressions, classical Chinese dance sits alongside ballet as one of the most comprehensive dance systems in the world.
Olsen, who owns resorts in Oregon, Spokane, and Hawaii, was not only transfixed by the dancing, but she also enjoyed the music of Shen Yun’s live orchestra, vocal soloists, and even the accompanying pianist.
“The pianist was excellent. She had a great deal of skill. It was almost, she was in the background, but she was very well skilled as well,” she said.
The music of Shen Yun is composed specifically for the performance, and refreshed every year. The orchestra combines both classical Chinese and Western instruments, allowing Eastern sounds to feature as melodies over a resonant orchestral base.
But what impacted Olsen the most was being able to experience the performance with her loved ones—especially her mother.
“My mother very much enjoyed the show,” Olsen said. “And because she has Alzheimer’s, but loves China and loves the dancing and that music and the beauty, and I watched her smile through the whole show, and be absolutely transfixed, and it was very touching to see.”
Olsen was also able to take something away herself after seeing some commentary about modern living in the final performance depicting a story set in today’s China.
“Everybody got a laugh at the cell phones, and everyone’s staring at their phones and not paying attention to what is going on,” she said, referring to a particular scene in that segment.
“And I think many of us could find some [of] ourselves in that where we tend to look at the phone instead of the world around you and to see what is right there, and not to see it on a screen—but to see it live.”
In summary, Olsen described Shen Yun as a “fantastic experience combining classical music and culture.”
“Beautiful … dance, and acrobatics was fantastic.”
With reporting by NTD Television.
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.