NORTHRIDGE, Calif.—Studio singer Rick Riso recorded for many well-known movie soundtracks such as The Lion King and Shrek 2.
On March 22, he and his wife attended Shen Yun’s evening show at the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts. It was a “thoroughly enjoyable experience.”
“[Shen Yun] transcended other [shows] that I’d seen before. I just cannot form enough words—[usually] I’m pretty good at communicating,” he exclaimed.
“It was a communication to the soul and spirit. It was inspirational!”
Shen Yun Performing Arts was founded by a group of leading Chinese artists who had fled the persecution of China’s ruling communist party.
In the decades since the regime’s violent takeover, Chinese traditional culture was forced to the brink of destruction.
Now in the safety of America, these New York-based artists are determined to bring China’s 5,000 years of divinely inspired culture back to life and share with everyone—beauty before communism.
Having been an entertainer for many years, Mr. Riso said he knows what it feels like “when a performance moved you. But [Shen Yun] went beyond the intellectual to the spirit and the soul and the heart.”
“I felt like I had embraced Chinese culture. It was so motivating for me that I want to be an even better person than I had tried to be.”
Mr. Riso thought the show was fabulous and flawless.
“For those of us who have been blessed to have been in the profession for a long time, it’s easy to recognize a good effort. This was beyond a good effort,” he expressed.
“This was, for me, about as close to perfection [as it gets] in terms of art. The marriage between the orchestra, the dance, and the performance was seamless—absolutely wonderful.”
According to Shen Yun’s website, the classical Chinese dance we see in China today is heavily mixed with military and modern dance styles.
Only at Shen Yun can you find it performed in its purest form—how it was originally passed down through the generations.
Both Mr. Riso and his wife are professional musicians. Mrs. Riso had even performed in Asia several times. So, the couple hadn’t expected to be shocked by Shen Yun’s erhu virtuoso.
The erhu is an ancient Chinese, two-stringed instrument.
“We were looking and nudging each other silently going ‘wow!’ In all our lives, we had never experienced that kind of musical expression. This person is so much of a virtuoso it’s undeniable. We thought we were in another dimension.”
Referring to the spiritual element of Shen Yun, Mr. Riso said he had been a guy of deep-abiding faith for many years. Though the belief portrayed differs from his own, his heart and soul resonated with the same message.
“I do believe that we do not come here by happenstance. We have a Divine Creator, and we carry [his] imprint on our souls and spirits. [In today’s world,] we let a lot of things get in the way. So, to come back to that reminder was fabulous.”
“Bravo. [Shen Yun] hit the highest marks. It was transcendent.”
Reporting by NTD and Jennifer Tseng.
The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of Shen Yun Performing Arts. We have covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.