THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.—Shen Yun left audiences uplifted and happy on Feb. 5 at The Fred Kavli Theatre, with the display of dance and music touching their hearts.
“It was really wonderful,” said Elizabeth Simonton, a personal trainer. “I had no expectations coming into it. I had no idea [what] it was going to be about, or anything that was involved in it, and I loved it.”
Ms. Simonton was particularly fond of the dance in the performance.
Ms. Simonton described the dance as “almost ethereal. Very rhythmic. Effortless, it was like they were floating. It looks like everything they did was with such ease.”
“My favorite was the dancing and the costumes and how they complemented each other. It was wonderful,” she said.
Shen Yun uses classical Chinese dance—an art form refined over the millennia of China’s past—to tell the stories and legends of Chinese culture. Each dance piece has unique, handmade costumes, with brilliant colors complemented by an animated, digital backdrop.
Each dance tells a story from China’s culture, which is very spiritual, as the Shen Yun website describes: “Principles such as benevolence and justice, propriety and wisdom, respect for the heavens, and divine retribution, all come to life, washing over the audience. Originating from Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism, these ideals are the essence of traditional Chinese culture.”
The message of compassion moved Ms. Simonton most of all.
“I loved the emphasis on compassion and how significant it is, and almost underestimated it is, in today’s culture. I love that,” she said. “The spiritual part was probably my favorite part.”
These spiritual messages also moved audience members Dr. Timothy Hall, a neurological psychotherapist, and his wife Elizabeth, a retired travel agent.
“I think the spirit of friendship and of truth comes through so well, and ultimately, you see in this production, everyone basically is combined together,” said Dr. Hall.
Dr. Hall was also impressed with the skill of the dancers, and the dedication that they must have.
“I just feel that so much time, so much practice, so much energy and focus has gone into this; it’s really quite beautiful,” he said. “I think, to take away from that, the rest of the world could be more disciplined and focused, and practiced at what we do.”
The colors in the performance, the costumes and backdrops, were one of Mrs. Hall’s favorite elements.
“I told a friend today I felt like I had been diving into a technicolor pool,” she said, referring to last year’s performance.
“It’s very uplifting,” said Mrs. Hall. “You leave feeling uplifted and hopeful.”
Manon, another audience member, felt similarly uplifted by Shen Yun.
“It has a really, really deep message. The message is to take you right to heaven. That’s the goal, and they get it,” she said. “In every way, dancing, moving, singing, everything.”
“It makes your stomach feel good,” she said.
With reporting by Jenny Liu, Thanh Le, and Ben Bendig
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform around the world. Shen Yun’s World Company will perform in the Greater Los Angeles Area through February 8. 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