PASADENA, Calif.—The audience in the Pasadena Civic Auditorium leapt to its feet in a resounding standing ovation at the conclusion of Saturday evening’s show, the final show here for the New York based Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company, which will be heading to Orange County.
Forest Tennant, a medical doctor who came to see Shen Yun Performing Arts, a celebration of 5000 years of traditional Chinese culture, on a suggestion from a fellow physician, said, “He was absolutely right I am glad I saw it.”
Dr. Tennant expounded, “As an American watching the show it is different than anything you are going to see (elsewhere) ranging from the colors and the dancing, it is a strange combination, it is a wonderful combination of acrobatic, color, dancing, it is just not something one in America has ever seen before.”
Techniques of classical Chinese dance include a series of very difficult moves—jumps, flips, twists, and spins that have been a part of classical Chinese dance for thousands of years.
“The dancing, the singing and the performance itself was overwhelming. The color I particularly found very exciting—they have a set of colors that we don’t see here, and I thoroughly enjoyed. The costumes I found them to be compelling.”
What struck Dr. Tennant additionally, were the two dances, Our Story and No Regrets which depict the contemporary struggle of the present day Chinese who ask for freedom of belief but are constantly oppressed. The show also notes that because of the depiction of Falun Gong, this performance is banned in China.
The doctor, surprised and saddened by the extent of suppression in China, and the lack of true information available outside China commented, “That is remarkable, I didn’t expect that. They are not happy and that is very clear. I came here expecting they tell us like I see in all the investment publications how wonderful China is and they are perfect and they are taking over the world and that everything is perfect in China but you get a different picture here tonight.”
“I want to hear more about this because you get the feeling we are not getting the full story about any of this stuff that is going on in the world today and so it was a great performance but it also has its sad part.” he added with genuine concern.
In conclusion, Dr. Tennant enthusiastically recommends Shen Yun to others.
“I have never seen anything like it you just don’t see the combined and interesting combination of athleticism, music, movement, singing. Like most people here in Los Angeles, we used to live down in Los Angeles, and we’ve all done a little song and dance and entertaining—we are all involved somehow, but the amount of practice they must do to get the formation, the choreography is something.”
“I am happy to recommend everything.
Mrs.Tennant added, "We'll be back next year!”
Reporting by Cheryl Casati and Masha Savitz.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts will perform in Escondido, San Diego, at the California Center for the Arts, May 3-5, and the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Orange County, May 6-8. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org