PITTSBURGH—Through the eyes of a photographer, the color in Shen Yun Performing Arts was “mystical.”
“It was the reality of color that I’ve lived with all my life as a photographer. And it was not political. It was pure. And it was simply color doing what color does,” said Mr. Bell, a former photographer of 40 years. He and his wife had just seen the last Shen Yun performance of the season at the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts on May 11.
It was 5,000 years of Chinese civilization taking the stage, and an insightful experience into China, according to Mr. Bell. It not only showed him what the authentic culture of China is like, but what a society built on love and joy would look like.
Love was the take-home message, he said. “Love, joy, the color, the expression of the human attitude, the persona that we are as people, you know?”
“It’s certainly a circumstance of choreographed wonder,” he said.
The name Shen Yun means something like “the beauty of divine beings dancing,” and it was certainly like that for Mr. Bell. He felt the entire concept had communicated something divine to him.
He had connected strongly to the opening story presented by New York-based Shen Yun, and seemed to take it to heart sincerely. Moments into the performance, the Creator steps onto the stage, beckoning divine beings to descend with him to earth, beginning the story of 5,000 years. It is what the Chinese believed in, and Mr. Bell as well. He felt it was a message to realize the world is a creation of the divine; and although it is a divine creation, we as humans also have the responsibility to “get it right,” he thought.
The performance ended with hope, in a dance aptly titled “Hope for the Future,” but it also presented people with a choice, according to Mr. Bell. We all have to choose which path to take.
Much of what is being spread in the world today is the absence of the divine, he explained. International affairs today are entrenched in espionage, and people in power are creating unnecessary animosity and violence.
“Are you going to live in a world of compassion or are you going to live in a world of deceit?” Mr. Bell asked.
Thus he was grateful for the pieces in the performance that “brought us to a realization of the divine.”
“Without that we have nothing,” Mr. Bell said. Shen Yun, he said, was “an expression of eternal relativity.”
It began with the start of an ancient culture, took the audience through the customs, dress, and demeanor of those of the Sui, Tang, Qing Dynasty courts and more. It recreated the gathering of the poets in the Orchid Pavillion, a storied event recorded down as a poem by a famed calligrapher. It recalled battles of wit and power, reimagined the celestial maidens and sea fairies of myth and folklore, and presented folk and ethnic dances from minority groups across China.
“They were all enchanting,” Mr. Bell said.
Reporting by Frank Liang 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.