COSTA MESA, Calif.—Mayor Barry Bruce of Hawaiian Gardens loved his experience at Shen Yun Performing Arts on Sunday evening at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.
“The show in itself was an artistic masterpiece full of beauty and full of talent,” he said. “The color was magnificent, the dancing was amazing, the music was beautiful, the orchestra—everything was woven together so beautifully.”
As an artist himself, as well as a musician, writer, and director who has written several plays and songs, Mr. Bruce can obviously appreciate high quality entertainment, and he said, “everything was perfect.”
Shen Yun was born in New York in 2006 out of the desire to revive the true 5,000-year culture of China, which was long considered a gift from the heavens.
Unfortunately, China’s traditional culture has been suppressed and nearly destroyed during the violent revolutionary campaigns of the communist regime.
However, outside of China, Shen Yun has the freedom to bring these ancient wonders to millions across the globe, through the universal languages of music and dance.
“I was visually just awed,” said Mayor Bruce. “Everything was so alive.”
Mr. Bruce was amazed and inspired by the precision of Shen Yun’s dancers, who are trained in the art of classical Chinese dance. The art form was developed and perfected over thousands of years, and requires not only technical excellence, but also expression of specific inner feelings through facial expressions and forms of movement.
The mayor loved the vibrant colors of Shen Yun’s dancers’ costumes, which are unique to each dance vignette’s theme and storyline. The dancers also use flowing sleeves or special props to add an extra layer of excitement, and an extra layer of difficulty, to their performance. Mr. Bruce especially enjoyed a dance piece in which the female dancers toss and twirl handkerchiefs in the air.
“That was amazing!” he said.
In addition, Mr. Bruce was impressed by the digital projected backdrops, where dancers often seemed to leap and disappear into the Chinese landscape, giving the background a three-dimensional feel.
As a musician, Mr. Bruce fully appreciated Shen Yun’s orchestra, which incorporates traditional Chinese instruments into a typical Western orchestra.
“It was really well done,” he said. “Mixing the two kinds of cultures together, it was just beautiful.”
Shen Yun’s celebrated two-stringed erhu virtuoso, Xiaochun Qi, played a solo titled, “Divine Elegance,” during the performance, earning a “Wow!” from Mr. Bruce.
And Shen Yun’s vocal soloists were also inspiring for the mayor, who was able to read their impassioned Chinese lyrics in English on the projected backdrop. As a spiritual person, he identified with their words of longing for a heavenly realm.
“I believe in a lot of the same kinds of things, as far as life being wearisome,” he said. “Life is a challenge, it’s a strain sometimes, but I believe that we are here, yes, to find the Way. Exactly, the Way, with a capital W.”
“And no matter what we accomplish on this earth,” he continued. “No matter how talented we are, no matter how great we are, no matter how much fame we get, no matter how much money—if we don’t find salvation, we have nothing at all. We’ve lost the whole purpose of life.”
The entire Shen Yun performance led Mr. Bruce through a range of emotions, from a humorous Monkey King story to a heartbreaking legend of the Lady in the Moon. Some of the most powerful vignettes addressed the harsh persecution of spiritual groups such as Falun Gong, or Falun Dafa, in China today by the communist regime.
“I also appreciate the fact that this show is very strongly and powerfully against a dictating regime that is trying to control people with fear and with hate and with punishment,” said Mr. Bruce. “I was very impressed.”
Mr. Bruce said he could tell by the number of people in Shen Yun’s audience that “there’s a great thirst for this,” and he recommended it to others.
“For the visual, for the beauty of it, and really for the fact that it is a strong stand against a dictating government. I think it’s a great show. I really do,” he said.
Reporting by NTD Television and Sarah Le
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.