ESCONDIDO, Calif.—Maria Casas was in love with Shen Yun “from the moment the curtains opened.”
“You can feel their emotion, you can feel it running right through you, and it’s exciting,” said Ms. Casas, who used to be a dancer, but now works as a respiratory therapist.
Ms. Casas attended the Feb. 20 performance of Shen Yun Performing Arts at the California Center for the Arts.
“Each dancer has their own style, I’m noticing that, but there’s so much unity on the stage that just brings everything together, and that’s very hard to see in a lot of different groups or companies—that unity on the stage—but you can really see that here,” she said.
Shen Yun uses classical Chinese dance, which has been developed over millennia throughout China’s dynasties. Some of the pieces in Shen Yun, all of which tell various stories about Chinese culture, also employ folk and ethnic dance from China’s many ethnicities and sub-regions.
“So much grace,” she said, commenting on the dancers. “They’re so exact, they’re specific, they’re on point.”
Each dance piece is supported by the Shen Yun Performing Arts Orchestra, which combines both Eastern and Western instrumentation, producing an effect where “The ensemble at once expresses both the grandeur of a Western orchestra and the distinct sensibilities of China’s 5,000-year-old civilization,” explains the Shen Yun website.
The orchestra was another reason why Ms. Casas loved Shen Yun.
“You just can’t compare—no matter how great of a recording—you can’t compare to live orchestra. You can feel it,” she said, “you can feel each strike of the strings or the drums.”
Shen Yun travels around the world, telling the stories of China’s ancient culture, on a mission to revive that culture, which was nearly destroyed by the communist regime in China today.
“I wish them luck. I love what they’re doing,” said Ms. Casas, of Shen Yun’s mission. “For what China is and how beautiful of a country. We all have our setbacks, but they keep the culture, the history alive, even in our country. So, I thank them for that because they’re sharing that and they keep the Chinese culture alive.”
‘This experience is quite magical’
“This experience is quite magical. I mean, it brings you to the actual heart of the show with so many moves that not just one human can do. I’ve never seen anything like this in my entire life,” said Isabel Hernandez, 11, who came to Shen Yun with her grandmother, Sylvia Ortiz.
Ms. Ortiz, who works an investigator assistant for the state of California, also greatly enjoyed the performance. She said it was her first time attending Shen Yun and that she wanted to share the experience with her granddaughters.
“I have no words to describe how much enjoyment I’m having,” she said. “It’s beautiful.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Ben Bendig
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