COSTA MESA, Calif.—Shen Yun Performing Arts put on a grand show, on March 13, at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. The Shankar family found the performance a wonderful experience, with something special for each of them.
Mr. Chinya Ravi Shankar, a professor of computer science at University California, Riverside, said Shen Yun “was fantastic. Really enjoyed it. I think the music is very interesting, a very unique combination.”
The music is an integral part of any Shen Yun performance and the orchestra combines the beauty and distinctiveness of Chinese sounds with the power and precision of a Western orchestra. According to the Shen Yun website, “The ability to seamlessly blend these two systems to create one fresh, harmonious sound is what makes the Shen Yun Performing Arts Orchestra unique.”
Mr. Ravi Shankar’s wife, Aruna Shankar, and their two daughters, Leena and Tara, also enjoyed the performance.
“It was wonderful. It was an experience. My two daughters do classical Indian dance. So we know something about dance. We really enjoyed it,” said Mrs. Shankar.
Shen Yun, a New York-based non-profit organization, has a mission to revive classical Chinese dance and traditional Chinese culture.
Leena and Tara are dancers at the Arpana Dance Company in Irvine. According to the Arpana Dance School website, “Arpana means ‘Offering’ in Sanskrit and it is with this spirit of offering dance to the Divine that the school was started.” Leena and Tara’s performances have led them to the Los Angeles area and beyond, including Croatia, as well as to many charity performances, such as in Japan after the recent tsunami.
Shen Yun’s performances are able to capture the essence and beauty of China’s many traditional and ethnic aesthetics.
“The costumes were very striking, every single one of them,” said Leena.
According to the Shen Yun website, “Chinese attire is as diverse as Chinese culture itself, with great disparities based on region or ethnicity. The 55 ethnic minorities located throughout China display a multitude of styles and an extensive range of colors. Historically, the country’s vastness, along with the great contrasts in geography and climate, led to the various groups developing very different forms of dress and adornment.”
Mrs. Shankar was also impressed by the costumes, saying that “it is very nice to see tradition.”
Shen Yun is able to combine traditional Chinese culture with modern technology through animated backdrops. “Inspired by 5,000 years of history, these spectacular landscapes truly reflect China’s multifaceted geography, society, regions, and dynasties. Some scenes even transcend this world, entering a heavenly palace where fairies dance amidst mystical clouds or peering into the solemn majesty of a Buddhist paradise,” according to the Shen Yun website.
Mr. Ravi Shankar commented that “it is interesting they integrated the old classical culture with something more modern. That was very nice.”
Due to her background in dance, Tara was able to appreciate the precision required for the digital projections. “The backdrop—that was amazing. Especially the timing where they had the animation in the background and the dancers hopped up on stage,” she said. “The timing was excellent.”
Reporting by Lu Rusong and Miles Segni
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