SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company was met with cheers and a curtain call as they played at the Sacramento Community Center Theater on Wednesday, April 6.
Val Dinkel, a retired owner of a cabinet shop, took his 5-year-old daughter to the performance and said the performance was easy for anyone to understand.
"It was amazing for me how [they] tell the stories," he said.
Shen Yun's exquisitely adorned dancers portray China's divinely-bestowed culture through a collection of stories from tales of old through to the present day.
Shen Yun also addresses modern-day struggles within China. Two dances features the suffering of Chinese people who ask for freedom of belief, but are continually oppressed.
"I especially enjoyed the closure of what’s happened to China and what I’ve heard happening in news and things like that," Mr. Dinkel said. "I can feel in the warmth in my heart, feeling sad for what’s happening and hoping that it turns around."
The New York-based Shen Yun features classical Chinese dance as it mode of expression—a form that is difficult to master as it is said to carry the essence of the culture in its movements.
"The [dancers], were incredible," Mr. Dinkel noted. "I think the mass variety of costumes that kept coming and coming out was great. Like when they did the Plum Blossom dance and you really had the sensation of being in an orchard of plum trees and the wind blowing through them," he added.
The Shen Yun New York Company Orchestra accompanies every single dance piece in a masterful fusion of Western and Chinese instruments. "The thing I enjoyed was listening to instruments that I’ve never heard," he added.
"I thought the accompaniment between them both was excellent. Very good."
Shen Yun seeks to revive the 5,000-year-old Chinese culture that was mostly destroyed and lost during the Cultural Revolution over some 60 years.
"There are some people in this world trying to do away with that. Which is totally wrong," Mr. Dinkel said, adding a message to the people of China: "don’t lose your culture."
Reporting by Sound of Hope Radio Network and Jack Phillips.
Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company will continue to the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts for four shows, on Sat. April 9-10. For more information please visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org