KANSAS CITY, Mo.—The performance by Shen Yun Performing Arts “was heartbreaking and heartwarming all at the same time,” said Alexis Meier.
“I wanted to cry. I was so happy that I wanted to cry. [It was] breaking my heart so that I wanted to cry, and it was so beautiful that I wanted to cry. … It was just a feeling of complete bliss,” said the hair stylist after seeing the Chinese dance and music performance.
She and her boyfriend, Zachary Walker, saw the first night of the Kansas City run on April 1 at the Muriel Kauffman Theatre.
Using the expressive dance form, classical Chinese dance, Shen Yun tells stories from 5,000 years of China’s history and profound culture.
The heartbreak for Ms. Meier came from some dances that explore dark chapters in China’s history. These show the oppression people of faith have endured—during the Cultural Revolution in the ’60s, and the brutal campaign against Falun Dafa in China today.
Ms. Meier appreciated that Shen Yun was open about these struggles.
Mr. Walker, a guitarist and singer of contemporary music, enjoys classical music too, and was very happy to be introduced to the Chinese instruments that play alongside Western ones.
He felt that having both East and West onstage bridged the gap for Westerner’s ears unfamiliar with Chinese sounds. Western ears would appreciate the foreign music without feeling lost, he said.
The beauty made Ms. Meier cry, but Mr. Walker noticed it as well. The couple mentioned one dance and then another, as each popped into mind. Mr. Walker started to describe “The Lady in the Moon,” about a husband and wife forever divided, as his favorite, but then mentioned the “Drums of the Grassland,” and how wonderful the drumming had been.
Then Mr. Walker mentioned the effect of the “Fairies of the Sea” opening the second act, and how the dancers created a beautiful waterfall with their undulating fans.
For Ms. Meier there was absolutely nothing to criticize in the performance: “It is all completely beautifully done. … It is almost as if it’s unbelievable. I cannot really believe seeing this right now,” she said.
“From the visual beauty to the poise and the grace that went along with it—flawless. I love it,” Mr. Walker said.
“There is nothing I could even think of [that] comes even close. I have never seen anything like it. I feel very honored to be able to come in and even see it,” Ms. Meier said.
Reporting by Catherine Wen and Sharon Kilarski
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.