TEMPE, Ariz.—Miss Aysia Pennell was delighted by Shen Yun Performing Arts on opening night at ASU’s Gammage Theater, on March 7.
Miss Pennell is a student at Arizona State University, and is the 2013 Miss Ladera Heights in California, and 2013—2014 Miss Black Arizona. She was also a contestant in the 2013 Miss California event.
“I wanted to take part in a cultural experience that I have never been a part of before,” said Miss Pennell.
When she heard about Shen Yun, she thought it was the perfect “opportunity to view classical Chinese dance in person.”
According to the Shen Yun website, “Classical Chinese dance is a culture left to us by the ancients who came before us, its beauty should be riches shared by all of humanity, its purity should not be contaminated. Shen Yun Performing Arts’ dance style is built upon classical Chinese dance as a foundation, while also maintaining a number of ethnic and folk dances. This combination embodies Chinese people’s aestheticism and ethnic character.”
Miss Pennell said, “I love it! All of the colors, and the enthusiasm that you can just feel exuding from the dancers has just been a really amazing experience.”
She added, “Even though I have been all the way up in the balcony, I can still feel like I’m right in the mix of the show. It’s amazing.”
Miss Pennell said one of the segments that she particularly enjoyed was, “the boy who was born in the meat ball.” In the humorous in the vignette, called Ne Zha Churns the Sea, a local lady gives birth to the mythical demi-god Ne Zha, who looks like a meat ball when born.
“It was amazing to be able to just follow along with the story as I did and the use of the digital images that they have on stage. It was also really cool,” she said.
“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,” describes the Shen Yun website.
Miss Pennell was struck by the unique “art of storytelling” woven into the ancient Chinese culture.
What amazed her was “how it is so prevalent in the culture and how they use that to communicate [the spiritual] messages that are held true even to this day.”
“I think this has been the biggest learning lesson for me so far,” she concluded.
Reporting by Cheryl Casati
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.