Shen Yun Is ‘A Fantastical Journey’: Video Director

January 26, 2023 ShareSHARE

FOLSOM, Calif.—Richard Malmberg, video producer and director and head of Iron Mountain Films, has created a number of award-winning videos, and at the Harris Center in Folsom, California the evening of Jan. 25 he witnessed “one of the cleverest uses of combining live actors with a video that I’ve seen.”

“I don’t know how they did that, but I’m imagining a combination of live-action and computer graphics and that kind of thing, but it was very cool,” said Mr. Malmberg after seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts for the first time, and witnessing the classical Chinese dance company’s patented backdrop technology.

Mr. Malmberg and Karen Shaw, an artist, saw Shen Yun on Wednesday, a two-show day, were inspired by the creativity, and said they would recommend the show.

“Definitely go see it,” Mr. Malmberg said. “It’s beautiful dancing, beautiful costumes. The dancing is exquisite.”

The dancing was beautiful, the music was beautiful, the settings with the screen in the background, the way they can combine the dancers with the animation on the screen was wonderful.
— Richard Malmberg

“The dancing was beautiful, the music was beautiful, the settings with the screen in the background, the way they can combine the dancers with the animation on the screen was wonderful. And the … Chinese culture was really fascinating,” he said. “[It’s] sort of a fantastical journey.”

New York-based Shen Yun is the world’s top classical Chinese dance company, and its mission is to revive China’s 5,000 years of divinely inspired civilization.

Ms. Shaw said she was moved by the stories Shen Yun told through dance.

“The dancing was brilliantly executed of course, but I felt like the stories just really were very heart-touching, and there were times I was close to tears in there,” she said. “I love the history … it’s really sad that this sort of show would not be allowed to be performed in China. It’s both ironic and tragic. What a loss. So I’m really glad that Shen Yun was preserved here in the U.S., and now it’s all over the world—because it’s just sheer beauty and heart. I love it.”

“It really fires up the imagination,” Ms. Shaw said.

With its mission to revive the traditional culture of China, Shen Yun is banned in China where the ruling communist regime has worked for the past 70 years to root out traditional culture through violent campaigns like the Cultural Revolution.

Governments Come and Go, but Tradition Is Deeper

Ron Elli, a business owner, had a long view of China’s history and future after seeing the performance.

“It makes you get interested in the culture of this ancient country, and I think there is a lot of culture in China,” he said. “For me, it’s the subtleness of the culture. They are so subtle about their thoughts, about their beliefs.”

Epoch Times Photo
Ron Elli at Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Harris Center, on Jan. 25, 2023. (Lily Yu/The Epoch Times)

The spirituality of the culture was apparent in “the delicacy of their moves, their artistry,” Mr. Elli mused, and it was woven deep into the culture.

“It’s the spirituality that makes you think about Divine, [it’s] interesting,” he said. Prior to seeing Shen Yun, Mr. Elli said he hadn’t realized how deep and spiritual Chinese culture was. Indeed, ancient China was once known as the “Land of the Divine,” as written in Shen Yun‘s program books, and civilization centered around the idea of harmony between heaven, earth, and humankind.

“When you dig deep like this, you see ‘wow, there is so much involved in their culture,” he said. “It [Shen Yun] shows you what the ancient China has to offer.”

Shen Yun states it presents “China before communism,” and strives to show authentic Chinese culture through its art. Mr. Elli felt what Shen Yun has preserved could not be separated from China indefinitely.

“Well, here is the thing: because this is so, I think, ingrained in the culture of Chinese, it’s not going to be wiped out easily,” he said. “Because it’s so deep into the roots of the country. And I don’t think it’s going to go anywhere. When you have a certain tradition or something that the people believe for generation after generation, it would be very hard to just hide or cover.”

“What they have I don’t think is going to go anywhere,” he said. “The history repeats itself. The governments come and go. Some—do censorship, and they do dictatorship. But then it never lasts forever.

Beauty and Gratitude

Epoch Times Photo
Beverly Falco(R) with her son, Ron, and daughter, Angela, at Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Harris Center, in Folsom, Calif., on Jan. 25, 2023. (Sally Sun/The Epoch Times)

Beverly Falco and her son Ron, a construction manager, and daughter Angela, a biologist, took great joy in seeing the authentic culture of China.

I think it’s beautiful, and how wonderful that it’s still alive and people get to see it,” said Ms. Angela Falco. “I think it’s so important because … this is pre-communist China. This is pre-dates communism.”

“The colors were amazing and they really stood out. The artistic display of dance was beautiful. I also loved the long sleeves. I thought the music was wonderful. I thought overall it was just a beautiful piece of art. I really enjoyed it. And they told the story, that I think is important to be told,” she said.

Mrs. Beverly Falco said the performance also gave her plenty of food for thought, and she would be reading up on some of the topics from the performance after going home.

I want to go home and read this. It’s just really beautiful. Everything was well done,” she said.

I’m so grateful that I got to come.”

Reporting by Sally Sun and Lily Yu. 

The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of Shen Yun Performing Arts. We have covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.

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