ESCONDIDO, Calif.—“People can go get a glass of wine, have dinner, spend a hundred bucks, and it’s all over in an hour. This is something you remember forever,” said Joe Heard, who is now retired but spent 40 years as a photographer and 30 years in television and motion pictures, after seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts on Feb. 27 at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido.
Shen Yun, through music and Chinese dance, brings to life China’s 5,000 years of civilization and culture, showing the audience heavenly realms and ancient legends.
Tonight was the fourth time Mr. Heard had seen Shen Yun. “They get better each year. Last year I would not have thought you could do any better. I thought it was great,” he said. “It brought tears to my eyes.”
“Anyone that misses this—they have no idea what the world is all about. And I mean this shows it entirely,” he said.
China’s ancient culture is considered to be imparted from heaven. Shen Yun’s website explains, “China was once known as Shen Zhou—The Divine Land. This profound name describes a land where deities and mortals coexisted, and a belief that the divine transmitted a rich culture to the people of the earth.”
“The culture! Just watch the things dealing with the country,” said Mr. Heard, who was quite moved by the show.
“This supersedes anything that I’ve ever seen or done. And I was in television for 30 years. This takes my breath away to go see that,” he said.
“Everything that [is] put into this now—superb. The scenery is like you’re standing with them. You’re with them,” he said, about the digital backdrop. Each dance piece takes place before an animated digital screen that brings to life the context of the dance, whether it is a Tibetan plateau or a heavenly kingdom.
“I think you get a feeling of realization—the things that are there that you’re seeing. All of a sudden you want to be a part of it. I do. I want to be a part of it,” he said.
In addition to dance pieces are also songs, sung in Chinese with the bel canto style. The lyrics are translated and projected on the backdrop so they can be understood by all.
“The tears in my eyes and the songs! Unbelievable. Just unbelievable,” said Mr. Heard.
“Next year I’ll be here. I want to see what [they] do—right down the line. Then continue,” he said.
“It’s just unbelievable.”
Reporting by Jane Yang and Ben Bendig
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.
The 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.