LONG BEACH, Calif.—”It’s an amazing experience where in a few hours you see and hear many things that have to do with China, its history, its beauty, nature, and art in both music and dance. It’s well worth the time to come and see it,” said Dr. Marjo Mitsutome.
Dr. Mitsutome came with her husband and their granddaughter to see Shen Yun Performing Arts World Company gracing the stage at the Terrace Theater on Feb. 8. She said, “We traveled a few hours, and spent a night in a hotel to be sure we wouldn’t miss the show.”
Dr. Mitsutome is an accomplished associate professor at the University of Redlands, teaching language acquisition. In addition to receiving an Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award from the university, she received an Award for Aviation Safety Initiative for developing English-language proficiency standards for global aviation.
“I knew we would see dancing and music, but I had no idea there would be excellent storytelling, that the [company] is as large as it was, and there was a full orchestra. It was absolutely amazing,” she said.
A Shen Yun performance consists of several story-based classical Chinese dance pieces.
“In less than ten minutes each, Shen Yun dances recount ancient myths, bygone heroes, or celestial paradises,” according to Shen Yun’s website. “Mortals and divine beings merge on stage as one. Principles such as benevolence and justice, propriety and wisdom, respect for the heavens, and divine retribution, all come to life, washing over the audience.”
Dr. Mitsutome marveled at Shen Yun’s dancers, “They are breathtaking. I’ve never seen anything quite like that. Graceful, beautiful, like gazelles really. It’s indescribable.”
Shen Yun was founded in New York in 2006 by a group of leading overseas Chinese artists, who wanted to use dance and music to revive 5,000 years of divinely inspired Chinese culture, which has been nearly all but lost under the current communist regime in China.
Dr. Mitsutome was deeply touched by the Chinese traditional values.
“It’s inspirational, educational. It’s art and the story. It’s deep. So there are moments where you’re just breathless from experiencing what’s going on,” she said. “I am thinking of China today, how modern and advanced it is, and that there really are some old values that one should not forget, and that really resonated within me.”
Being a spiritual person, Dr. Mitsutome said that she was pleasantly surprised to see the spirituality in the lyrics and throughout the performance.
Dr. Mitsutome praised the emcees and their narrations, and sent her thanks to the performers, “I would like to say thank you. It was amazing. You are all wonderful, every single one.”
She concluded with conviction, “We definitely want to come back with our larger group.”
“I’d like to bring my children next time,” she said. “They are already adults, so they’ll have to figure out what to do with their schedules. But we’ll make them come.’
‘Shen Yun Reaches Many Cultures and Many Hearts’
Mrs. Kim Myun expressed her feeling of the performance. “It’s just so amazing,” she said. “It’s the best show I’ve ever seen in my life.”
She was delighted to hear Shen Yun’s music, saying “It’s really different from my country, and I really like it.”
According to the website, “The Shen Yun Orchestra combines the spirit, beauty, and distinctiveness of Chinese music with the precision, power, and grandeur of the Western symphony orchestra. The result—two great traditions producing one refreshing sound.”
Mrs. Myun’s husband added, “The show reaches many, many cultures, both the American and Chinese cultures, and it reaches many hearts. So you spread goodwill through all cultures. Thank you for everything.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Thanh Le
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.
Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reaction since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006