TOLEDO, Ohio—”To say it was uplifting is an understatement!” said Ms. Olevia Brown-Klahn. The retired music teacher for a local public school system joined the enthusiastic audience welcoming the return of Shen Yun Performing Arts to the Stranahan Theater, Saturday, March 17.
Shen Yun’s mission is to revive 5,000 years of divinely inspired traditional Chinese culture through storytelling by its trademark classical Chinese dance, original orchestral music and award winning solo vocalists.
Ms. Brown-Klahn was profoundly moved, and said, “I was telling my husband, that to me, [Shen Yun] represents some of the highest and best of human activity. To say it was uplifting is an understatement. I feel my spirit soaring; to me it reminds me of what human beings are capable of doing, the good they’re capable of doing, how the arts can move us towards something higher. Words fail me, really they do. I feel simply lifted.”
Visibly moved, she elaborated, “It was a very spiritual experience and it moved me and I cried and I kept thinking, again, this is the highest and best of what humans can produce. I would want to help support this and I would hope that more people could witness this and be moved by it. Maybe as a result they can be more motivated to live by truth and perhaps to look at their fellow human beings a little differently, more in a positive manner, be more aware of how much we are, really do have in common. I would hope it would break down barriers in people. … This is just wonderful.”
Ms. Brown-Klahn added, “When something touches my spirit, I cry and I kept crying in there because there is so much beauty and so much that, I feel it’s just good for human beings, it is nourishing, it feeds the spirit.”
The resounding voices of bel canto soloists are an integral part of Shen Yun. Their impassioned songs give voice to hopes that have shaped Chinese culture for centuries. Ms. Brown-Klahn exclaimed, “Magnificent! They made me cry because of the beauty of their sound and the power of their voices, and the conviction that you could hear and feel what they were singing. … Just beautiful!
“The musicians were wonderful, I kept watching the musicians and I intend to get more information about the two stringed instrument, the erhu. Delightful sound! I really enjoyed that, I enjoyed this immensely, it was just plain wonderful.”
She also expressed her appreciation for the dancers, and excitedly exclaimed, “Oh, the things they can do with their bodies! My goodness, I’ve never seen bodies do that! They move together beautifully. … and the music and the dance blended together so well.
One of the features that strikes audience members most is Shen Yun’s colorful costumes. The fluid silk fabric echoes the dancers’ movements. “I also sew and I looked at the costumes and thought, oh my goodness, the yards of fabric and there are people who sew these gorgeous costumes together in every possible way.”
She felt all aspects of the performance came together to present a gorgeous whole. “It was just magnificent! The musicians, the dancers, the singers and all the work that went into that, just magnificent. I’m so glad I saw this, it has really added something to my life to have seen this.”
In parting, Ms. Klahn-Brown has a message for those who have not yet seen Shen Yun: “It will enrich your life, please go and experience this! It will enrich your life.”
Reporting by Wan Ying and Jeanmarie Lunsford.
Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, tours the world on a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company will next perform at The Kennedy Center Opera House, Washington, D.C., from March 21 to April 1.
For more information visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org