HOUSTON—Professor Pete Rygaard saw a TV spot for Shen Yun Performing Arts and knew he had to see it in person. His two daughters ended up him buying tickets as a gift, so Mr. Rygaard, with his wife and daughters, all attended the performance at Houston’s Jones Hall for the Performing Arts on Dec. 29.
“The colors, the music, the coordination of the dances, the choreography—it is just beautiful,” he said. “I loved it, I loved it.”
New York-based Shen Yun was established in 2006 to revive 5,000 years of Chinese civilization through the performing arts. The artists, from around the world, put together an entirely new show every year.
The culture came through in an immersive experience for Mr. Rygaard.
“You’re just taken into it,” Mr. Rygaard said. “You feel a part of it—you want to see more, you want to see more. The dancing colors, the swirling ribbons—it’s absolutely gorgeous. We are absolutely enjoying it.”
The artistry of Shen Yun was moving for many audience members.
“It’s just the elegance of the whole thing,” said Mr. John Harvey, a retired business owner. “It’s very precise, very detailed … it’s absolutely beautiful.”
Mr. Harvey and his wife Veronica had never seen traditional Chinese dance and enjoyed the many types of dance and costumes they saw on stage.
“Oh it’s beautiful, beautiful,” Mrs. Harvey said. “And the cultural traditions—I don’t think I realized there were some of these cultural traditions that would otherwise be lost.”
Shen Yun’s dancers perform ethnic and folk dances from the Yao ethnic dance to the Mongolian chopsticks dance, along with classical Chinese dance; however, these traditional art forms cannot be found in China today. Under the current regime, the traditional values that Shen Yun seeks to revive have been suppressed.
It’s a reminder, Mrs. Harvey said, of the importance of the freedom of belief.
There were some serious moments in Shen Yun’s stories, but there were humorous ones as well, the couple said.
“A feeling of joy kind of bubbles up as you’re watching,” Mr. Harvey said. “It’s upbeat and very positive.”
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.
The 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.