SAN DIEGO, Calif.— After wanting to see the Shen Yun Performing Arts for years, lawyer Andre Verdun, brought his family to the San Diego Civic Center for Shen Yun’s first performance of the season in the Californian city.
It was also his mother-in-law’s—Martina Charolet’s—first time seeing a live performance.
“My family’s been wanting to come for years,” Verdun said.
Verdun and his family were struck by the beauty of New York-based Shen Yun.
“It was a lot of really beautiful dance routines. And it was nice to be able to watch the performances and to learn about how Chinese dancing has influenced other dances in gymnastics and culture. It was really interesting,” Verdun said.
Shen Yun’s mission is to revive 5,000 years of Chinese culture and civilization through dance and music. Audience members often leave the performance knowing more about China before communism.
“It takes you through a different timeline, [learn about] Chinese culture, and it kind of teaches you about things that I wasn’t aware of before. And in that way, it was unique,” he said. “It was very educational. It was nice to see Chinese culture displayed in that way.”
He supported the dance company’s efforts in preserving Chinese culture.
“I think it’s fantastic. Any opportunity to be able to relive our past and to preserve our past, I think is really important. I think anything that really preserves any type of history, especially an ancient culture like China’s, is a good thing to have out there,” he said.
Verdun also expressed how the show gave him a sense of peace and tranquility.
“It’s got peacefulness to it. As you watch it, you feel more and more calm,” he said. “It was beautifully performed and it was very tranquil. So we’ll all walk away with a very strong sense of tranquility.”
Shen Yun uses patented digital backdrop technology to support the performance, which gives the impression that the stage endlessly extends. Performers appear to pop on and off the stage and are given the apparent ability to fly high into the sky or dive deep into the ocean.
Verdun was struck by the elaborate use of the backdrop that also transports the performance to different scenes and dimensions.
“It’s really breathtaking to see how they’ve been able to recreate these displays on the stage where [they] recreate the clouds and the Heavens. It was a lot more than I was expecting,” he said.
Reporting by Jane Yang and Maria Han.