COSTA MESA, Calif.—In Shen Yun Performing Arts, Hawaiian Gardens City Councilman Hank Trimble saw beauty and power. He saw good and evil play out. He saw the vitality of living life to its fullest.
“I am honored to be here, I loved it. There is just so much of that—I just hope I don’t forget the highlights,” he said. “I love the colors; there is a lot of life in it.”
Mr. Trimble himself lives life to the fullest. Despite its ups and downs, he describes the challenges and accomplishments he’s had together as an amazing journey. He is constantly seeking new stories and experiences—through the movies, through meeting people and learning about new places and cultures, both in his community and from elsewhere.
It is a dream of his to one day drive across the country, meeting people from each state and learning more about them.
The Segerstrom Center for the Art is just 20 minutes away from Mr. Trimble, but it unexpectedly took him to another land entirely.
“It took me around the world. I’ve seen things I’ve never seen before, and it’s beautiful,” he said on April 17.
He will speak at the next council meeting, he said, of the beauty he’d seen and will recommend it to residents.
Filled With Life
Eager to retain the highlights of the performance, Mr. Trimble shared some striking moments with a reporter.
In two dances, he described dancers’ wielding fans with tails that trailed and drifted, and moved in such a way that “they told the story within themselves.”
New York-based Shen Yun performs mainly classical Chinese dance, and often includes props in choreography.
In another dance, the costumes included long “water sleeves” that grew as the dancers threw them out, and then “came back to them at their will.”
“They are just cloth, but they used it. [The dancers] brought them to life and they expressed, I feel, what was in their heart,” Mr. Trimble said.
“I really enjoyed the show. It spoke,” he said.
The way the artists expressed themselves through dance, character, and costume allowed Mr. Trimble to feel like he could understand the changes that occurred dynasty to dynasty, from 5,000 years ago to the present day. He witnessed the propriety and expansiveness of the Han Dynasty, known as China’s first golden age. Then he journeyed to a fireworks celebration centuries later, in a lively, even “sassy” northeastern folk dance with handkerchiefs,” he said.
“It was an expression I really enjoy.”
Good and Evil
Sometimes life is about appreciating the brilliance of colors in full bloom. Other times, it is about finding meaning and overcoming your inner struggles.
Shen Yun told stories of China’s 5,000 years, from that of an everyday person’s individual struggles to those of a legendary heroes’.
Mr. Trimble said he saw this in their hearts, and that it was their search for what is true. Oftentimes there would be “an evil presence that comes against them,” he said, “and I’ve seen the presence here and I’ve seen good triumph.”
It was so touching for him because he saw the spiritual side of it, he said. There were characters that, to Mr. Trimble, came so close to salvation, they were “left at salvation’s door.”
Bu not everyone goes through that door. There is both personal choice involved, and the will of the heavens. Mr. Trimble waited to see what happened, watched the characters struggle against the evil presence, seek the truth, and continue to be good, and do what “they believe in to get in through that door.”
It was told through beauty and power in the dancers’ movements; the female and male dancers equally so, though in different ways, he explained. There was a grace about it he didn’t think there was an American word for, and combined with the heavenly lighting and animated backdrops, these characters appeared like deities.
“I think every little element just enhanced the mixed element and it came together beautifully.”
Reporting by NTD Television 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.