Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company commenced its tour in the South Korean city of Gwangju on April 11. Ryu Tae-o, former president of the Gwangju University of Arts, and currently deputy president of the UNESCO Gwangju Jeonnam Association, and cultural director of Bitgoul Nanum, was at the performance. He said he had a very memorable experience after seeing the “elongated stage extending from heaven to earth,” and added that the “Shen Yun performance gave me a fairy-like sensation.”
South Korea has been an annual destination during Shen Yun’s Asia Tour since 2007. This year, for the first time ever, Shen Yun is making a stopover in the city of Gwangju where local well-known social figures and celebrities are packing the Gwangju Culture and Art Center to see the authentic interpretation of 5,000 years of ancient Chinese culture presented by Shen Yun.
Mr. Ryu himself is quite a Korean cultural dignitary, serving as president and director on multiple educational associations in Gwangju. After seeing Shen Yun, Mr. Ryu was astounded at what he said was a “fantasy coming to life,” with none more stunning than the perfect tandem between the high-tech animated backdrops and the performance on stage.
Mr. Ryu explained: “The extension of the stage effect, from the heavenly paradise to the earthly world, indeed has given me the strongest impression. The talents of the dancers are really something outstanding. I have also come to grips with what are the unique characteristics of classical Chinese dance.
“Watching Shen Yun gave me a wonderful sensation, as if living in a fairyland. The integration of the backdrop and the performance is a ground-breaking technique. Very emotional; the performance does move people.”
Reflecting back on the live orchestra that accompanies the performance, Mr. Ryu said: “It was an orchestra bringing to a unison Chinese and Western instruments. It was a performance like no other.
“Generally speaking, the performance stood out more than ever with the combined Chinese and Western instruments. It was not a simple mixing of just Chinese music with Western music. It was a harmonious unity of two very different styles of instruments, which then brought up the difficulty of the performance.”
‘Orchestra added more depth and charm’
Lim Ji-Hyeong, a professor in the Department of Dance at the Chosun University, was in attendance to see the second performance of Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company on April 11 at the Gwangju Culture and Art Center. Ms. Lim acclaimed that Shen Yun’s backdrops were very well-done and she was deeply inspired by them.
Ms. Lim said: “The animated characters first appeared on the backdrop and then the real artists showed up on stage. The technique which synchronizes the backdrop and the performance was excellent, and the acting of the artists was remarkable. These artists are fabulous dancers.”
She added: “The dancers coordinated very well with the live orchestra. The orchestra added more depth and charm to the performance. In addition, the mini-drama pieces that depict the Chinese history and culture make the plots comprehensible.”
Ms. Lim explained: “The Shen Yun Orchestra brought about perfect union of Eastern and Western instruments. The costumes, likewise, were matched and paired to perfection. Everything was great. The entire production simply became a unique artistic dimension. The backdrop of the very first program, Descending to the World, left me with a wonderful impression. It could have been a fantasy or a wonderland. It was simply superb.
“I got much inspiration from the backdrop of Shen Yun for my future artwork. In Shen Yun, I realized that the Korean dance is more subtle, while the Chinese dance is more dynamic. The harmony between the East and West is flawless. This is what I will say when I introduce Shen Yun to others,” she said.
“Besides, our students saw the performance this afternoon as well, and they said they had experienced an excellent performance,” she said.
Read the original Chinese articles.  
Reporting by Lee Ji-Seong and Frank Fang, Choi Zheng-Eun and Amy Yu
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.