ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—John Vaughan and his wife, Ann, have never before seen Shen Yun Performing Arts, so when the classical Chinese dance company came to the Mahaffey Theatre on Feb. 5, it was a must-see.
“I love it, it’s really interesting,” said Mr. Vaughan who is a former journalist.
He is currently currently working in real estate with his wife and says, “We always like to expand our horizons and this is something we haven’t seen before.”
“Shen Yun was formed in New York in 2006 by a group of leading classical Chinese artists with a mission to revive China’s divinely inspired culture. At the heart of Shen Yun performances is classical Chinese dance, but the company also features ethnic and folk dances, as well as musical and vocal performances,” according to the company website.
“I’m loving it. I would like to hear a little more singing, beautiful, absolutely beautiful,” said Mrs Vaughan.
“The primary trait that distinguishes the singers of Shen Yun is their use of the Italian bel canto technique to sing Chinese text. Today, these singers’ ability to do this is unparalleled,” the website says.
Also impressive, Mrs. Vaughan noted, was the integration of the dancers where the animated characters descend from the backdrop screen and disappear precisely as the dancers appear on the stage, only to disappear at the end of a performance and magically reappear on the screen again.
“I love how they move into the scenery,” Mrs. Vaughan said.
Mr. Vaughan enjoyed the interaction of the two emcees.
“I like that two emcees speaking English and Chinese come out and interpret what we’re seeing each time, because you can read it in the program but it’s nice to see the interaction,” Mr. Vaughan said.
He also noted a dance that exposed the continuing brutal persecution of Falun Gong banned since 1999 by the Communist regime, conveyed in the dance, “The Steadfast Lotus.”
“I love the lotus one, where the lotus flower symbolizes resilience. It’s excellent.”
Falun Gong is a traditional meditation practice based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion and forbearance.
“I think the fact that [Shen Yun’s] bringing this, making this clear without being too heavy a hand, is done very well … It’s excellent, an excellent job …”
Mrs. Vaughan especially enjoyed the dance Mongolian Chopsticks. “Against a vista of endless blue sky, strong male dancers use chopsticks to create a crisp, staccato beat that quickens the blood and stirs the heart,” states the program notes.
She described the entire Shen Yun production as “enlightening, entertaining,” whereas, Mr. Vaughan would confine his thoughts to what he would tell his friends. “I would tell them this is good and they should make sure they see [Shen Yun] next time it comes around.”
Reporting by Edie Bassen 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 Shen Yun Performing Arts.
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.