RENO, Nev.—For the first time in its 13-year history, Shen Yun Performing Arts traveled to Reno, Nevada and grateful residents repaid their effort handsomely. Of the original shows planned, all three sold out. Finally, a fourth performance was needed. The phenomenon that is New York-based Shen Yun is in full effect in The Silver State.
Needless to say, the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts, the venue where Nevadans are flocking to see Shen Yun, is happy for their success and proud to play host.
Mark Ashworth, president of the Board of the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts, a realtor, and a long-time fixture in the Northern Nevada community, attended Shen Yun on Feb. 29, 2020, and expressed his deep appreciation for being able to see the classical Chinese dance performance, and for their choice of concert hall.
“This is the first time I have seen [Shen Yun‘s] show and we are absolutely thrilled that you would bring this show to Reno. And we are honored that you would select the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts as your venue for that presentation,” Ashworth said, directed at the artists themselves.
“We have a wonderful lineup of shows here at the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts, including Broadway and musicals and local entertainment, and artists and musicians as well. But to have Shen Yun on our stage is truly an honor for us, and we’re so glad that you chose us to bring your show to town. We are overwhelmed by the response from the city of Reno, relative to sold-out performances for Shen Yun, and we’re excited and grateful that you are willing to add another performance to your stay here in Reno,” he said.
It’s Shen Yun’s mission to breathe new life into China’s 5,000-year-old heritage and share it with the world. The artists do so through rich art forms like classical Chinese dance, bel canto singing, live orchestration with Western and Eastern instruments, and more.
Ashworth commented on the traditional Chinese culture he saw in Shen Yun.
“It’s very interesting to me to be allowed to view the Chinese culture from an artistic and musical point of view, and naturally the dancing and the colorful costumes are wonderful,” Ashworth said. “I particularly enjoyed the ‘Water Sleeve’ dance. That was one of my favorites.”
In “Water Sleeves,” the female dancers don dresses with silky sleeves that are multiple times longer than their arms which they toss and catch and wave through the air.
“It’s obvious that the performers are attuned to the task of bringing to the United States the culture of China, and it shows in their performance,” Ashworth said.
“The presentation of the Chinese culture and its history, through dance and music, is evident and is carried to the audience by the performance of the artists on stage. It’s not just a dance act, no.” It’s much more than that, he said.
“Oh, they’re all very talented and most accomplished. As a drummer myself, I enjoyed the drums early on in the first half of the show. And I enjoyed the Mongolian horsemen as well,” he said.
Ashworth found the blend of Eastern and Western sounds in the orchestra pleasurable to his decidedly American ears.
“Most enjoyable. Most enjoyable. I love the orchestra. The mix of Western instruments and Oriental instruments together is very, very appealing and most enjoyable,” he said.
“Positive energy and very relaxing as well,” he said, about what it was like to be a Shen Yun audience member.
“We’re just so glad that we were able to attend a performance for [Shen Yun’s] stay here in Reno,” added Ashworth.
“I would encourage anyone who has never had the opportunity to attend a Shen Yun performance, to take the opportunity to do so. And we hope that you’ll return to Reno again.”
With reporting by NTD Television and Brett Featherstone.
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time and has covered audience reactions since the company’s inception in 2006.