CLEVELAND—Having seen Shen Yun during a previous season, Linda Bushel, a retired elementary school teacher, would have been perfectly content with seeing a similar or the same performance as before. Yet, she was even more pleased with the completely new stories and portrayals of Chinese culture and folklore this year as Shen Yun Performing Arts produces an all-new show each season.
“I cannot compliment it enough,” said Ms. Busher after seeing Shen Yun at the State Theatre on Jan. 30. She was accompanied by a dear friend, Margaret Gorman, also a retired teacher.
“Oh, it’s beautiful, beautiful,” said Ms. Gorman. “I love how it tells stories from Chinese culture, very beautiful, very easy to interpret and understand for Westerners.”
This ancient divinely inspired culture is presented through story-telling classical Chinese dance and a live orchestra. Few in the Western world are acquainted with classical Chinese dance. “Over thousands of years, it was constantly refined, eventually developing into the vast and distinctly Chinese dance form we know today,” states the Shen Yun website.
Ms. Busher could feel herself being immersed in Chinese culture.”The show is outstanding; the precision is razor sharp, costumes, colors, choreography, geometric patterns, [and] stories,” Ms. Busher said.
“You are just mesmerized and deeply entranced with the beauty and the gymnastics, Ms. Busher said about the dancing. “They jump so high and they land on the same beat. I cannot praise the show enough.”
The tumbling and aerial techniques Ms. Busher saw are one facet of classical Chinese dance. In fact, gymnastics, as we know it today, originated from this expressive dance form.
The dances of Shen Yun “give dramatic portrayal to the cherished stories of past and present. Their figures embody the most exalted virtues of Chinese civilization, and convey a message or moral that is still relevant in our day,” states Shen Yun’s website.
Ms. Busher with touched with the spiritual nature of Shen Yun. “I love it,” Ms. Busher commented. “I feel the spirit in their dancing. I feel the spirit, I do! I feel the holiness in their performance. It is coming to me,” she said.
At least two segments of the performance cast light on an injustice currently happening in China: the persecution of a traditional meditation practice called Falun Dafa.
“I was surprised that they could do a dance on such a serious topic,” Ms. Busher stated. “I thought, ‘Wow, this is scary, but it’s a true picture of what was happening in the culture.'”
She found Shen Yun’s portrayal of the 15-year persecution through dance and music to be “done with such finesse and truthfulness. It was done artistically,” she said.
Reporting by Michael Huang and Andrew Darin
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.
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.