MINNEAPOLIS—“We’ve traveled to many places in the world, but not China,” said Phletus Williams. Mr. Williams and his wife, Sally, had traveled 250 miles to attend Shen Yun’s performance at the Orpheum Theatre on Feb. 16.
It took them about four and a half hours to journey halfway around the world and several millennia back through time to arrive in ancient China.
Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, aims to revitalize 5,000 years of divinely inspired Chinese civilization.
“Through the universal language of music and dance, Shen Yun weaves a wondrous tapestry of heavenly realms, ancient legends, and modern heroic tales,” according to the company’s website.
Mr. Williams, whose first name means “beloved” said the performance was very spiritual and just beautiful.
“From the heart you feel this emotion,” he explained about the performance’s spirituality. Mr. Williams has a doctorate in microbiology and nutrition and worked for the Department of Agriculture for 37 years before retiring.
The digitally animated backdrops impressed Mr. Williams wonderfully. He said that the choreography and background fit together well.
“With state-of-the-art graphics technology, Shen Yun’s digital-backdrop team creates vividly animated settings, extending the stage and transporting the audience to a world where heaven and earth are one,” the company’s website states.
“And this was our Christmas present to each other,” Mr. Williams said.
Mrs. Williams felt that her journey was wonderful. “I would love to go to China and learn more about China … This was so beautiful: the culture, the arts, everything, the dance, the music and the instruments. It was just wonderful,” she said.
She taught family and consumer science education and teacher education at Iowa State University, and did a lot of international work in her career.
Of the dances Shen Yun performs, some are ethnic dances that show the breadth of Chinese culture. Others rely on classical Chinese dance, known for its technically demanding flips, spins and leaps.
Audience members often comment that the grace of classical Chinese dance is mesmerizing.
“I loved the lotus flower,” Mrs. Williams said. “Yes, it was just so beautiful. I sat in awe. And the beautiful movements—They’re so very, very beautiful as they danced, just so graceful.”
Mrs. Williams feels that the effort to restore traditional arts is important because the culture is wonderful. “I would like to see the culture shared more,” she said.
Mr. Williams would heartily recommend the performance.
“It was a wonderful journey,” Ms. Williams said.
Reporting by Hannah Cai and Sharon Kilarski
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.
The 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.