LOUISVILLE, Ky.— Author and attorney Dennis Shepherd got a bit philosophical in trying to explain how seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts touched him: “Sometimes we spend so much time in the world on complex problems, and so much time arguing over beliefs, religious beliefs, political beliefs. When you look at something like this and you see the simple stories of the creation of the earth from the universe, and how love can find its way, and how a truth can find its way, and how the struggles are always there to the real life and the real heaven, it’s just very beautiful for me to see that.”
Mr. Shepherd has written a novel, two biographies, and a children’s book. He is planning a trip to China soon and wanted to prepare by attending Shen Yun, a classical music and dance company, based in New York.
Shen Yun was founded in 2006 by artists seeking to bring back the traditions and virtues of ancient China.
“Through the universal language of music and dance, Shen Yun weaves a wondrous tapestry of heavenly realms, ancient legends, and modern heroic tales, taking you on a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese culture,” according to the company’s website.
“I’m a kind of student of Chinese history, and anything I can get from the show will help me when I go back and I try to figure out exactly how to connect all of the centuries of Chinese history, so it helps me that way,” he said.
“I think all of the stories are extremely well-done and simple to understand,” he said.
Classical Chinese dance is the main vehicle through which the history of the country is explored. The company also features folk dances that show the breadth of China.
“It’s very clear to me that there are several different ethnic societies in China, it’s not just one country. It’s several different cultures and this type of a musical show helps reinforce that for me,” he said.
Mr. Shepherd was impressed by how the dance combined so well with its musical accompaniment, an orchestra that uses Chinese melodies supported by rich, full symphonic sound of a Western orchestra.
Lastly, Mr. Shepherd noted that he loved the songs sung by the classically trained vocalists. The lyrics appear in English and Chinese on the backdrop behind the singers, and give insight into the semi-divine nature of traditional Chinese beliefs.
In speaking of the songs, Mr. Shepherd said, “They are so simple and are born out of real belief and a spiritual awakening, and it moves my soul very much.”
Reporting by Ying Wan 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.
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.