SAN FRANCISCO—Nelson and Connie Hunter, retired travel agency co-owners, were very impressed when they experienced Shen Yun Performing Arts for the first time on Jan. 9.
Mrs. Hunter’s love of dance brought them to the afternoon performance at the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House.
Mr. Hunter expected the performance to be okay. “But it is much more than that,” he said.
“I thought it was very interesting. All of it, really. … I wanted to see more,” he said.
He admired Shen Yun’s world-class dancers, who have captivated audiences since 2006 with classical Chinese dance, Chinese ethnic and folk dance, and stories from China’s 5,000-year history. New York-based Shen Yun aims to revive China’s traditional culture for today’s audiences.
It was Mrs. Hunter’s first time seeing classical Chinese dance.
“They’re very talented,” she said. “It’s like it comes from your soul.”
Shen Yun’s website explains that classical Chinese dance is a comprehensive dance system thousands of years old and “rich with expressive power,” allowing the dancers to convey thoughts and emotions.
“They’re just excellent,” Mr. Hunter said.
He especially enjoyed seeing the male dancers, who perform pieces such as the Mongolian ethnic dance “Drums of the Grasslands.” Shen Yun’s program describes Mongolian ethnic dance as “powerful and masculine.”
“I love dance, and they sure do it well,” said Mrs. Hunter. “I like everything about it.”
She appreciated the costumes and the choreography, which work together onstage to create a brilliantly-colored visual display. She also enjoyed Shen Yun’s unique live orchestra that blends Eastern and Western musical traditions.
The performers use dance and music to express traditional values such as compassion, wisdom, and respect for the divine.
“They’re so spiritual,” said Mrs. Hunter. “I just feel that they’re very spiritual people.”
She could see the 5,000 years of history in their dance movements and music.
In Shen Yun, she found “humbleness, peacefulness, [and] understanding.” Watching Shen Yun made her feel “at peace,” she said.
“Relaxed, peaceful, and just happy,” she said. “This makes you feel happy.”
Reporting by Abraham Thompson and Sally Appert
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.
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.