WASHINGTON, D.C.—Years ago, John Locke, a percussionist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, saw some of the rehearsals of Shen Yun Performing Arts in Baltimore, but couldn’t attend the performance at that time. “I just thought it was so beautiful,” Mr. Locke said.
Finally on Jan. 28, Mr. Locke and his family found the chance to see Shen Yun.
Mr. Locke said Shen Yun brings “beauty and joy,” and is “so uplifting.”
“It’s very spiritual, it’s transcendental I think,” he said after seeing Shen Yun at The Kennedy Center Opera House.
“The whole spirituality beyond the discipline, and the fantastically high level of the performance was very impressive. … There’s some mystic spirituality that is shared by the performers and I really appreciate that. We’re coming back next year.”
Based in New York, Shen Yun presents classical Chinese dance. Shen Yun’s website explains that every culture throughout history has looked toward the divine for inspiration, and that Shen Yun artists follow this same “noble tradition.” For them, the website says, “this spiritual connection is motivation for striving to excel, is the heart behind each movement of the dancer and each note of the musician.”
Mr. Locke, who also teaches at the Baltimore School for the Arts and the Peabody Institute, said Shen Yun’s music is “gorgeous,” and that the performers are “phenomenal.”
“It really takes you elsewhere,” he said. ” It’s gorgeous and transforming. It transports you somewhere else back to China.”
Shen Yun’s orchestra, which combines traditional Chinese instruments with classical Western instruments, accompanies the dance performances on the stage.
Kathryn Locke, an accomplished pianist, artistic director of the Harford Choral Society, and faculty member at the Loyola University Maryland and Harford Community College, was also full of praise for Shen Yun.
“It was so impressive, the level of the performances with the dancers and the musicians, I mean for us as musicians,” she said.
The Locke’s son, John Edgar, who is pursuing an MD-PhD in neuroscience, likewise found Shen Yun very “inspiring.”
“It’s an incredible celebration of thousands of years of cultural heritage and it’s so impressive and such a noble pursuit [for Shen Yun] to perfect such a wonderful art form,” he said.
“That was a very incredibly moving performance.”
Reporting by Jenny Jing.
The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of Shen Yun Performing Arts. We have covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.