Retired Banker: Shen Yun, ‘Enchanting!’

February 2, 2015 11:21 pm Last Updated: February 7, 2015 11:48 pm

COSTA MESA, Calif.—Shen Yun Performing Arts World Company gave another impressive performance, garnering praise from happy audience members.

The dancing was enchanting.
— Ron Biagi
“It was wonderful. The orchestra was excellent and the costumes were fantastic and the colors were vibrant. The dancing was enchanting,” said Ron Biagi, after seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts World Company on Jan. 31.

Mr. Biagi is now retired, but had a long career with Bank of America, serving as the CEO and Chairman of the Board in Texas and New Mexico, respectively.

He said he also found the performance to be a great learning experience, a lesson in China’s long history.

“I thought it was very interesting. I did not know a lot of the histories, or ethnic dances of the culture of 5,000 years that China is so proud of. So I learned a lot,” he said.

It is Shen Yun’s mission to revive this culture, using, as Shen Yun’s website explains, “Sophisticated dance techniques, an orchestra joining instruments from both the East and West, beautiful costumes, and a stunning back drop—this is Shen Yun at first glance.”

Shen Yun compresses China’s heritage into a single performance by telling many stories, and through approximately 20 vignettes, each no longer than 10 minutes, audiences are taken on a journey of myths and legends where they see celestial kingdoms, vast, rustic landscapes, and elegant, ancient gardens. “Whether set in the past or in contemporary China, every dance embodies traditional Chinese values.”

Of Shen Yun’s stories, he said, “I think they’re rich in tradition and the values have stood the test of time.”

“It’s the tradition of respect, compassion, [and] integrity that they were trying to display and explain to us,” he said. “That was probably the most important to me.”

Jim Large (R) and Kim Mills, along with Ms. Mills' father (L) and brother after watching Shen Yun Performing Arts Jan. 31 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. (Lu Rusong/Epoch Times)
Jim Large (R) and Kim Mills, along with Ms. Mills’ father (L) and brother after watching Shen Yun Performing Arts Jan. 31 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. (Lu Rusong/Epoch Times)

Jim Large and Kim Mills both found the night’s performance to be quite enjoyable.

Mr. Large, who works in aviation, considered the show to be truly unique, and during one of the dances Ms. Mills, an accountant, said she couldn’t help but shed tears at what she saw.

“I think the message we got was, we need to be more compassionate,” said Mr. Large. “The dancers, the message, all of the talent—it was just great.”

Ronda Schneider and Nestor Corrales after seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts on Jan. 31 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. (Sofia Fang/Epoch Times)
Ronda Schneider and Nestor Corrales after seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts on Jan. 31 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. (Sofia Fang/Epoch Times)

Also in attendance were Nestor Corrales and Ronda Schneider. Mr. Corrales is retired, but he worked as a television engineer for Walt Disney, and Ms. Schneider works in education.

“Very impressive,” said Mr. Corrales, describing the night’s performance.

They both enjoyed the animated backdrop, which complements all the dance pieces. In some of the pieces, the dancers interact with the screen, appearing to leap into the sky or fall from the heavens and suddenly appear on stage.

“The coordination was very good,” said Mr. Corralas.

The tales told through the dances were a favorite of Ms. Schneider. “The stories were phenomenal,” she said.

Ms. Schneider was particularly taken by the spiritual nature of the show, noting how it centered on heaven, humanity, strength, and compassion.

“It was just pure and so right on,” she said. “Very spiritual. Very lovely.”

Reporting by Sophia Fang, Zheng Qu, and Ben Bendig

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.

Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reaction since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006