HOUSTON—Inspired by 5,000 years of divine culture, Shen Yun Performing Arts’s classical Chinese music and dance presentation lit up Houston’s Jones Hall stage.
Among the audience enjoying the New York-based spectacular on Jan. 3 were project engineer Scott Schultz and his wife Adriana, a fashion designer.
“It’s insightful into the history and the culture of China—an artistic learning experience,” Mr. Schultz said.
Based in New York, Shen Yun was founded in 2006 by a group of talented Chinese artists who set out to reawaken the traditional values of ancient China, just as the company website explains.
“Heavenly realms and timeless legends spring to life through classical Chinese dance. Dazzling costumes, thunderous battle drums, and powerful flips fill the stage with color and energy. Exquisite melodies and animated backdrops uplift your spirit and transport you to another world.”
Ms. Schultz, who was also enjoying the performance, was particularly struck by one of many story dances, Handkerchief Blossoms.
In the dance, young ladies deftly spin pink handkerchiefs on the tips of their fingers, symbolic of plum blossoms and the arrival of Spring, following a chilly Winter, according to the program book.
She was also impressed by the Shen Yun singers use of the bel canto technique to sing Chinese text, with English subtitles printed against the backdrop screen.
“They brought a message through song,” she said, touched by the words and the performance itself.
“Brimming with philosophical reflection about human life and containing deep layers of meaning, the texts go beyond the boundaries of nation, race, and culture, and have been fondly received and appreciated the world over. Some audience members even express that Shen Yun’s vocal pieces are reminiscent of sacred music,” the Shen Yun website explains.
Mr. Schultz could relate to the spirituality woven into the entire performance, he said.
He was also aware of the spiritual practice, Falun Dafa, depicted in the dance, The Power of Compassion.
He said he had worked with an engineer from China who had told him of the meditation practice, also known as Falun Gong, which has suffered ongoing persecution in China since July, 1999.
Reporting by June Fakkert and Raiatea Tahana-Reese.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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.