MILWAUKEE—“I feel rejuvenated. It was wonderful. I think it was very sensational, and love all the colors,” Karen Pichler said after seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts with her friend Janice at the Milwaukee Theater on Feb. 20.
The performance was at once soothing and sensational for Ms. Pichler.
“Sensational, because it kept bringing out my senses. It just enhanced that to me, for some reason. I don’t know if it was all the colors, or the activity, and the stars flying around, I just enjoyed it so much,” Ms. Pichler said. And also, “it was serene, like serenity. It was very graceful.”
It was possibly the music, now that she thought of it. She remembered hearing the soothing strings of instruments like harps, in the orchestra that combined Chinese and Western instruments. “It’s just soothing for the soul,” she said of that sound. “I was happy.”
Ancient Chinese believed music had the power to heal, and the pentatonic scale directly correlated to the five senses and five internal organs of health. The Shen Yun composers, in composing and arranging music that uses both Western and Chinese instruments, are cognizant of this philosophy and work to bring out the soul of the music.
The music is tailored to the classical Chinese dances, which range from classic stories, ancient myths, historical events, to happenings in China today. The New York-based company’s mission is to revive the authentic traditional Chinese culture, through the arts.
As Shen Yun’s website explains, China was once a land that believed its culture was divinely inspired. People believed in principles such as good is rewarded and evil is punished, and reverence for the divine. Ms. Pichler said she felt similarly, seeing themes of big ideas like the Creator and the universe, and virtues like humility, delivered through beauty.
Ms. Pichler said regardless of religion or culture she felt it was a universal teaching to “treat your neighbor as you’d treat yourself,” and that there is more beyond this life; in her case, and as she saw in the Chinese culture, that was heaven.
With how the world is changing now, many people are turning toward the dark side, she said, regardless of culture. But Shen Yun brought light.
“It was very alive,” she said. “Very lively, and very colorful, and a great message.”
Reporting by Maggie Xie 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.