BUFFALO, N.Y.—Like many theatergoers who become interested in Shen Yun Performing Arts, Kiran Kandukurti was first grabbed by the multitude of colors.
With 400 costume pieces every year, and a different set—or two—of costume changes for each classical Chinese dance, story-based dance, or ethnic or folk dance, the stage is full of color.
So the entirety of it was a spectacle, he said. But what Mr. Kandukurti was really touched by was the depth of the performance and what it allowed him to experience in his heart.
“That was the great thing about this whole performance. It was not just dance and music but it was something more. It conveyed a message and it touched the heart; that’s why it’s so great, I think,” said Mr. Kandurkurti, who saw New York-based Shen Yun April 24 at Shea’s Performing Arts Center. He attended with his wife Sita, both of whom are physicians. Mrs. Kandukurti was enamored with the form of classical Chinese dance, a form developed over thousands of years.
The couple moved to New York from India six years ago, Mr. Kandurkurti explained, and his own cultures has some similarities in philosophy to the traditional Chinese culture—such as the belief in reincarnation, the divine, and that people come from heaven and will one day go back. This was what he felt the performance was able to convey.
“I think it in a way brought me back, thinking about my religion and my spiritual path as well,” Mr. Kandukurti said.
The traditional Chinese culture is centered on the idea of harmony between heaven, earth, and humankind. Throughout the program, we witness heavenly beings, magical characters, celestial palaces, and divine intervention.
All of these stories were beautiful, and some felt like they touched his heart, Mr. Kandukurti said.
As a nature lover, for instance, “The Mystical Udumbara” was striking. Female dancers with sparkling flowers in the palms of their hands presented the joyful piece—what the program notes as a celebration of sightings of this tiny flower around the world. According to Buddhism, the sightings signify the return of “The Holy King Who Turns the Wheel,” a once in a 3,000-year occurrence.
“It almost looked like the flower was blooming on stage,” Mr. Kandukurti said. “That got me a little emotional.”
The experience is nothing you could imagine or understand from a television or internet viewing, he said. It was not just dance, but spirituality.
“It’s a whole different level that it takes you to. It gives you that state of mind that you just floated on with the performance for some time,” Mr. Kandukurti said.
“The show is unique, it plays on your mind for some time,” he said. “You can’t go out, have a drink, and forget about it. It has much more than that.”
Reporting by Charlie Lu and Catherine Yang
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.