PHILADELPHIA—Art teacher Tristie Brotze came to Shen Yun both to celebrate and to learn. “The costumes and the way they flow are breathtaking,” Mrs. Brotze said. “I teach adult painting, and I teach children art. So I think the costumes and the movement of the fabric is beautiful with the music.”
“The first dance that we saw with the orange draping was stunning, and I love their use of, just the way the movement of the fabric kind of cascades from one performer into the next. It adds movement onstage,” she said.
That dance is “Salvation and Renewal.” In it, “trumpets sound in the highest reaches of the cosmos, and celestial maidens bearing lotuses dance among ethereal clouds,” according to the program.
Mrs. Brotze and her husband, Paul Brotze, celebrated their anniversary on Jan. 9 at Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. Mrs. Brotze was curious about how the performers interacted with the digital backdrop.
She asked her husband to go see the performance for their anniversary. It was their first time experiencing New York-based Shen Yun, which creates a new program every year. Her husband is a pilot. He, too, enjoyed Shen Yun, according to his wife. “He loves it. Loves it. We were actually here on our anniversary, so this is what I asked for on our anniversary, was to come here and see the show. So this is for my treat, but he loves it as well.”
She also spoke of the emotional tenor of Shen Yun. Mrs. Brotze said she thinks the performance can bring more peace and knowledge to the world.
“I think it brings the peace of the culture … just the gentleness of the culture and just the striving for the peace, and the right to express how they want to express and live how they want to live, which is peaceful.”
“It’s charming. It’s informative. It’s touching,”
The artist, who teaches at a studio in Chester County, thought she would take away new ideas from seeing the colors and costumes.
Every costume presented by Shen Yun performances display a spectacular spectacle—from the Tang Dynasty’s “Raiment of Rainbows and Feathers” to imperial dragon robes, phoenix coronets, and cloud capes; from the civil official’s headdress and robes to the warrior’s helmet and armor; and from the traditional rightward cross-collared Han clothing to the ethnic attire of the Manchurian, Tibetan, Dai, Mongol, and Uyghur ethnic groups, according to the Shen Yun website.
Costumes from every dynasty, region, and realm are tailored using bright colors and are given meticulous attention, making every piece an artistic masterpiece.
Mrs. Brotze appreciated the beauty of Shen Yun’s palette.
“I think anytime you see a performance, you take something away, and I’m sure that I’ll take something away from this,” she said. “I’ve been looking at the complement of colors from the backdrop to the costumes. Just beautiful.”
She said she learned about the challenges Shen Yun faces when endeavoring to revive China’s 5,000 years of civilization and culture.
“I’m gaining knowledge on how difficult it is to keep the roots in their culture and to embrace it,” she said.
Shen Yun presents traditional Chinese culture and values—which are centered on the idea of harmony between heaven and earth. Under a communist rule, these values that are deeply embedded in the culture have been systematically uprooted and destroyed. The performance aims to bring back these traditional values that are on the brink of extinction, according to the Shen Yun website.
Reporting by Lijie Sun and Janita Lum
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.