SAN FRANCISCO—The dance, the costumes, the live orchestra, the state-of-the-art digital backdrops—all these aspects of Shen Yun Performing Arts impressed Joe Majka, a senior vice-president at Visa Inc., after seeing Shen Yun perform at the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House on Friday, Jan. 6.
“It’s a show of traditional of Chinese dance, culture and stories … I enjoyed it very much,” said Mr. Majka.
Shen Yun enriched of his knowledge of Chinese culture, said Mr. Majka, building on what he learned in having Chinese friends, a daughter that teaches at a Chinese-American school, and some small encounters with Chinese culture.
Since it’s founding in 2006, New York-based Shen Yun has been a cornerstone of the revival of traditional Chinese culture, according to Shen Yun. It has grown to three performance companies and orchestras of comparable size, traveling around the world simultaneously.
The hundreds of costumes that are part of every Shen Yun performance struck Mr. Majka in particular.
“The costumes were fantastic—the colors and the different costumes were very, very good,” he said.
Shen Yun features a wide array of costumes presented in brilliant colors, creating a splendid spectacle to the eye. The hundreds of meticulously handmade costumes range from traditional Chinese clothing and ethnic attire to celestial garb worn by fairies and other celestial deities, according to the Shen Yun website.
Mr. Majka says that he couldn’t get enough of the drums in the opening piece of the 2012 performance. “An Era Begins” conveys a Chinese story of the battle of good and evil beginning in heaven, and eventually moving to earth.
Having seen Shen Yun advertised last year in San Fransisco, Mr. Majka had wanted to come then but never made it, but this year he managed to come with his wife and a friend.
He said he “very much” liked the animated backgrounds used by Shen Yun. “I thought that was done very well. It was a good mix of the dance with the animated background.” he said.
In its performances, Shen Yun features state-of-the-art graphics technology that creates “magical windows to completely different realms,” according to the company. Shen Yun’s backdrops are designed to interact seamlessly with all other elements of the performance such as the costumes, orchestra and dance movements—allowing the dancers to move seemingly in and out of the scenes.
“I would recommend it to friends—especially my Chinese-American friends with children. I think this would be a very good thing for them to see,” said Mr. Majka.
Reporting by Gary Wang and Jasper Fakkert
Shen Yun’s New York Company will be in San Francisco until Jan. 8, and then continue on to L.A. Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.