HOLLYWOOD, Calif.—In ancient China, music was used to treat diseases and heal illness, and researchers today have found evidence that music can indeed provide health benefits.
A performing arts company dedicated to reviving the 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture through music and dance has been lauded by a retired doctor as both beautiful and healing to the entire audience.
“I recommend [Shen Yun] as a medicine to the soul of everybody,” said Dr. May Jaefar after attending Shen Yun Performing Arts World Company on Saturday, Jan. 24. “It is calming to me.”
New York-based Shen Yun performed to a sold-out audience on Saturday evening at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre, formerly the Kodak Theatre. The performing arts company has become a worldwide phenomenon since its inception in 2006.
“A Shen Yun performance features the world’s foremost classically trained dancers, a unique orchestra blending East and West, and dazzling animated backdrops—together creating one spectacular performance,” according to the company website.
“It was all perfect,” said Dr. Jaefar. She praised the quality of the dancing and the spectacular colors. She was especially struck by a dance where the women wore long, flowing sleeves that twirled in rhythm with the music.
Having traveled extensively across Europe and parts of Asia and seen many cultural shows, Dr. Jaefar said Shen Yun was like nothing she had ever seen before.
She said she would recommend the show to others and would possibly come again next year.
Gynecologist Karl Norris was also in attendance Saturday evening, and he said the experience was “extraordinary.”
“It’s beyond what I have expected,” he said.
Dr. Norris was fascinated by the unique depth of storytelling through the dances in Shen Yun.
“I didn’t realize that you could dance to a story,” he said, “and make a story almost come to life.”
He also noted how difficult it must be for so many dancers on stage to be in complete unison while making rhythmic musical sounds with props such as chopsticks, and performing the leaps and flips that are typical in classical Chinese dance.
Dr. Norris was especially impressed with Shen Yun live, full orchestra and the performance’s original musical compositions, which incorporate the best of Chinese and Western musical traditions.
“To be able to meld the two styles, the Chinese and Western, it takes an extraordinary mind to be able to do that, to pull it off,” he said.
The deep spiritual elements intrinsic to traditional Chinese culture slowly became clear throughout the performance, said Dr. Norris, and were quite touching.
“That marriage of what I believe and what I see that they believe, it confirms what I think about the universe,” he said.
“What you put out into the universe, somebody or something, is listening,” said Dr. Norris. “Now you can’t ask for the lottery numbers, no no no, but you can do other things with it.”
The dance pieces that portrayed heaven and spiritual aspects spoke to him on a deep level.
The doctor recommended others to see Shen Yun.
“It’s something you must see,” said Dr. Norris. “It’s a must-do event.”
Reporting by Chang Yi Yuan and Sarah Le
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.