PHOENIX—Nurse Todd Fullmer could hardly contain his enthusiasm after seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts with his wife at the Orpheum Theater on April 1.
“Oh, it was beautiful. Every time I was excited, then I would be more excited. Every act was spectacular. You know, just the beauty and the culture … It was beyond our expectations,” he said, “I’ll recommend it to everybody. I’ll look and see where the next show is and maybe we’ll go and see it again.”
According to Mr. Fullmer, whereas Westerners’ portrayal of some of the Asian cultures tends to be more serious, Shen Yun’s beauty showed a sense of humor and happiness that delighted him immensely.
Mr. Fullmer was in awe of Shen Yun’s artistry. He said the music was very soothing, the digital interactive backdrop made him smile the whole time, and every single piece of costume was so beautiful.
“They were beyond my expectations,” he said, “I’ve never seen anything like it before.”
The experience of Shen Yun also helped Mr. Fullmer gain a new appreciation for the traditional Chinese culture, with the belief that its rich culture was a gift from the heavens. “It was the spiritual side of the Chinese culture that most people probably don’t know.”
China has been known as the “Divine Land” where the divine and mortal once coexisted.
According to the website. “It refers to the belief that the divine, through various dynasties, transmitted a rich and abundant culture to the Chinese people. Chinese culture is thus known as “divinely inspired.”
Yet after the Chinese Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976, this 5,000-year culture has nearly been destroyed, because the Chinese Communist Party has attempted to systematically eradicate China’s traditional culture, and force atheism upon the people.
In 2006, a group of distinguished classical Chinese artists from around the world founded the independent, non-profit Shen Yun Performing Arts in New York to revive traditional Chinese culture, and to share it with the world through storytelling dance and music.
According to the Shen Yun website, traditional Chinese culture is rooted in spirituality. Chinese society was deeply influenced by Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism for thousands of years.
For Mr. Fullmer, the true spiritual culture was articulated in the lyrics of baritone Qu Yue’s song “What You Are Here For,” and soprano Haolan Geng’s “The Moment of Salvation.” He explained, “The purpose of life [is] [you are] coming to Earth, and [with] the purpose, the goal of being able to go back to Heaven.”
Mr. Fullmer again said that he would recommend Shen Yun to everyone. “It’s very much worth it. I would have bought the tickets so much sooner if I knew it was so beautiful.”
Former Dancer Says Shen Yun Extraordinary
Among the audience members captivated by the Shen Yun performance on April 1 at the Orpheum Theater was Pamela Seufert, a former dancer and business broker.
“It made me feel blissful, peaceful and delighted, and excited. It’s extraordinary,” Ms. Seufert said after watching the performance.
“It is an honor and pleasure to have [Shen Yun] in the United States, and for us to see your culture over the past many many years. And it’s a shame that China will not allow [Shen Yun] to do their own ‘divine being’ dancing in their own country. But we’re happy to have them here. Thank you,” Ms. Seufert said, referencing the meaning of Shen Yun’s name, which translates into something like “the beauty of divine beings dancing.”
The Shen Yun website explains that there is an inextricable connection between the arts and heaven: “Throughout history, almost every culture looked toward the divine for inspiration. Today, Shen Yun’s artists—dancers, musicians, choreographers, and composers, and the entire team—follow this noble tradition. For them, this spiritual connection is the motivation for striving to excel, is the heart behind each movement of the dancer and each note of the musician. It is why audiences can feel there is something different about Shen Yun.”
At the heart of a Shen Yun performance is classical Chinese dance.
“Classical Chinese dance is grounded in 5,000 years of divinely inspired culture, and is a dance art form built upon a deep foundation of traditional aesthetics. Classical Chinese dance is rich with expressive power. Through expression of bearing and form, beautiful dance movements bring out the inner meaning of intrinsic thoughts and feelings, reflecting the peculiarities of human nature, the standard for human conduct, moral concepts, mental state, one’s value system, and so on,” according to the website.
Ms. Seufert gave high praise to Shen Yun’s dancers. “They are superb dancers,” she said, “They’re an expression of who they are, how they feel in dance.”
But it was not just the expressions of Shen Yun’s dancers that impressed Ms. Seufert. She appreciated the beautiful costumes, the performers’ beauty, hard work, the synchronization, and working well together demonstrated through dance.
Ms. Seufert said that she would absolutely recommend Shen Yun to her friends.
Reporting by NTD Television and Thanh 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.
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.