COSTA MESA, Calif.—The expression of genuine Chinese culture through music and dance by Shen Yun Performing Arts’ New York Company dazzled audience members at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts on March 15. The non-profit company performed twice, once in the afternoon and once in the evening.
Jehan Izhar, aerial circus performer and owner of Mt. Baldy Athletic Arts Center, was able to attend the evening performance and loved it.
“It was absolutely phenomenal,” Ms. Izhar said. “One of the reasons I wanted to come is because I wanted to get some inspiration, and I did, so it was great.”
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts was established in 2006 with the goal of reviving the divinely inspired culture of China and sharing it with the world, according to the company’s website. A performance includes a focus on classical Chinese dance with a live, full orchestra accompaniment, vocal and instrumental soloists, intricate costumes, and a unique interactive digital backdrop that completes the experience.
Ms. Izhar is a fitness trainer, yoga instructor, and a coach for aerial circus performers with a master’s degree in kinesiology (the study of human movement). She developed an integrative fitness program called Creative Movement that teaches mind and body conditioning based on holistic practices for well-being and scientific principles of human movement.
As a performer, Ms. Izhar enjoyed the colors in Shen Yun’s performance, the movements of the dancers, and especially the way the dancers used props such as chopsticks or simply their costumes in some of the pieces to add meaning to the story behind the dance.
“The flags, the sleeves, the way that the performers were integrating together to create a full picture, that was the best part for me,” she said.
Ms. Izhar also felt a special connection with the spiritual elements within true Chinese culture shared through Shen Yun and noticed a connection with these elements and human movement.
“I think there is a huge connection between the way that we move and expressing spirituality through our movement and through our bodies,” she said. “[It’s] a huge part of what I believe in and what I do. So when I was seeing that out on stage, that’s really what connected me to it.”
Ms. Izhar said she thought artistic performance was a great way to tell a story or share the traditions of one’s culture.
“It really made me think about the power that we have within art and within performances to convey messages, and to really communicate and to get our story out there, which is why I perform,” she said.
“Whether it’s a personal story or a story of your culture or your history, I think performance is one of the best ways to do it.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Sarah Le
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