Shen Yun is ‘Like a Connection to the Divine,’ Says Singer

May 11, 2016

HAMILTON, Canada—When Jackie Marino comes across something exceedingly sublime, her word for it is “beyond,” and that’s how she described Shen Yun’s performance at Hamilton Place Theatre on May 10.

“Extraordinary, uplifting, inspiring—like a connection to the divine,” said Ms. Marino, a professional singer and children’s entertainer. She also writes music.

“I loved it. Beyond, beyond—that’s my word for when it’s not even part of our world. It’s “beyond.” Just beautiful.”

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts founded on a mission to revive the traditional culture of China through worldwide performances of classical Chinese dance and music. It is a 5,000-year-old ancient culture whose essence is a deep reverence for the divine. Ms. Marino felt this aspect deeply.

Singer and children's entertainer Jackie Marino and her daughter at Shen Yun Performing Arts in Hamilton on May 10, 2016. (Lisa Ou/Epoch Times)
Singer and children’s entertainer Jackie Marino and her daughter at Shen Yun Performing Arts in Hamilton on May 10, 2016. (Lisa Ou/Epoch Times)

“A connection to the divine, like you were there. I’m so uplifted. Very inspiring,” she said, adding that her daughter took her to Shen Yun as a birthday gift.

She said she found the second half of the show particularly impressive.

“The whole second half—it just kept on escalating. Fortissimo to the end. It was beautiful, just beautiful.”

Shen Yun’s unique orchestra with its blend of Chinese and Western instruments also came in for praise.

“The orchestra just propelled everything. It was beautiful. It was just so amazing. Extraordinary, phenomenal—beyond!”

‘It’s something you feel from within’

Amanda Cicero and Scott Masteronardi also found the orchestra special.

“The instruments—you can’t hear that anywhere else. The orchestra is one of a kind,” said Mr. Masteronardi, an insurance agent.

“It’s actually emotional, to be honest. Hearing the blend it’s unique because you can hear the strings of the Western side plus the strings of the Eastern side, and when they combine it’s a really great sound. It’s something you feel from within. It’s emotional—that’s the only way I can put it.”

Another standout of the evening for Mr. Masteronardi was a solo piece performed on the erhu, a traditional Chinese instrument with only two strings, but the capability to convey a wide array of emotions.

“That’s my favourite,” he said. “I wish I could learn it. It’s a lovely instrument. I love it.”

“It’s very relaxing, soothing. I imagine it takes a crazy amount of talent to play that instrument,” said Ms. Cicero, a graphic designer.

Shen Yun’s uses the ancient art form of classical Chinese dance to tell stories from classic literature and ancient myths that embody traditional values like loyalty, compassion, filial piety, and respect for the divine.

These virtues resonated with Mr. Masteronardi.

“Very down to earth values. They’re very core values, everybody can learn from it. Something we should be thinking about practising every day. Tolerance, everything like that, the tradition, the divinity.”

“Like they explained, cherishing life and hoping to go back to heaven and things like that. It’s very clear in the show,” said Ms. Cicero.

“I loved the tradition of [the show],” said Mr. Masteronardi. “I didn’t want it to end.”

Reporting by Lisa Ou, NTD Television, and Joan Delaney

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 reaction since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.