BALTIMORE, Md.—The producer of a traditional Japanese dance show, Julia Mechler, appreciated the “beautiful mesh of traditional Chinese art and European classical music” presented in Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Hippodrome in Baltimore, Md. Commenting on the orchestra that combines East and West, she said, “I want to see something like that in Japan too.”
New York-based Shen Yun showcases millennia of Chinese culture through the mediums of music and classical and ethnic dance.
The show inspired Ms. Mechler to wonder how she could apply what she saw to Japanese traditional art because they haven’t been able to do something like this. She strongly believes a culture’s arts give identity to a people and gives them roots.
Ms. Mechler came from Okinawa, where the people are an ethnic minority in Japan. She said the traditional arts of her culture are fading away and was moved by how Shen Yun is reviving traditional culture. “It gave me a huge inspiration.”
The costumes impressed her. “They were so beautiful. The colors were vibrant. And the movements that went with the costumes, so beautiful. The long sleeves flowing—like water and flower petals. I was just like wow, this is amazing.”
Ms. Mechler hopes Shen Yun will come to Okinawa so she can share it with her friends.
Teacher and Adopted Sister See the Beauty of China’s Cultural Heritage
High school Spanish teacher Natalie O’Keefe came with her sister Meng Yee Tier, who was adopted from China. Ms. O’Keefe appreciated the soothing music as it helped her; she is pregnant. “I want to play this at night to put me to sleep.”
During this difficult time, Natalie said, “clearly these artists have worked very hard, … and I just think it reminds us to enjoy each day.”
As the performance featured the arts in China before communism took over the country, Ms. O’Keefe was encouraged to learn more about it. “When we got the pamphlet in the mail, I noticed that it said that the Chinese communist party tries to prevent them from succeeding and performing.” She wondered why a country’s people would not have pride in their heritage. “I don’t really understand why the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] would be against it.”
Meng Yee said the performers were very talented and wished they could perform in China.
Sisters Enjoy the Humor Woven Into Ancient Stories
Jess Brown, creative director at an advertising agency, came with her sister Lauren Angelo to see the show. “We loved, obviously, the theatrics, but it was actually really interesting how much education was woven in,” Ms. Brown said.
She appreciated the wit and humor that was woven into the storylines. “So I thought that made the show charming, and sort of broke up the pace of everything.”
Ms. Brown was surprised at how spirituality was part of the ancient stories. “like coming from the heavens and down to earth, and I thought that was just an interesting way for them to start the program.”
Reporting by NTD, Emel Akan and Yvonne Marcotte.
The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of Shen Yun Performing Arts. We have covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.