ATLANTA—Heavenly maidens descended from the clouds and appeared in the flesh to thousands in Atlanta, Georgia on Sunday. No, this was not an Orson Welles-like media stunt: thanks to patented technology that Shen Yun Performing Arts employed at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center, theatergoers truly did see characters fly through celestial realms before appearing in their human forms on stage.
COO Amazed by Shen Yun
“It has exceeded my expectations,” said Dan Raatjes, who is Chief Operations Officer for King’s Hawaiian, a food manufacturing company founded in 1950 best known for its pull-apart Hawaiian sweet bread popular across North America.
Raatjes was floored by the overall experience of New York-based Shen Yun.
“It’s amazing. I haven’t seen anything like this. It’s beautiful,” he said.
“The backdrop! It’s so unique, right? Especially the one when the fairies came down, and all of a sudden the dancers popped up. That was amazing. It’s so sharp, the background, the colors, and the contrast, is just so sharp. Every scene is new colors. Amazing,” Raatjes said.
Engineer Is “Taken along on the journey with the dancers” in Shen Yun
Shen Yun’s enchanting and colorful performance gained two new fans in Eric Conklin and Jewell Stone, husband and wife, who described how much they enjoyed it.
“It’s absolutely stunning. The choreography, the costumes are just amazing,” Stone said, who is an engineer with the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT).
“Very much so. The fluidity of the movements is so gentle and flowing. It’s beautiful,” said Conklin, who also works at the GDOT. “Each and every [dance] had it’s own subtle message about the honesty, or the tranquility, or spiritual enlightenment, and others.”
Shen Yun’s mission is to restore China’s 5,000-year-strong culture after the Communist Party of China ravaged it and nearly wiped it out due a fear that it would compete for the people’s loyalty and obedience. The stage show depicts this ongoing real-life struggle on stage in a select few of its storytelling dances.
Stone and Conklin pointed to these dances as being particularly touching and memorable.
“I can’t begin to capture it all, the costumes, the movement—each were conveying either the excitement, the highs or lows, or the drama as well as the passion and the angst. For instance, with the communist rule—each movement, the choreography, the dancers the costumes, all brought it very well together and definitely portrayed each and every message. It’s absolutely amazing,” Stone said.
A strong spiritual component runs through each piece in a Shen Yun performance. Be it an ancient legend, a folk dance, a song, or a modern scene of persecution, Shen Yun holds true to the authentic Chinese tradition of acknowledging the divine’s presence.
Stone said she absolutely picked up on this aspect of the show, and expounded on it.
“I’m taken along on the journey with the dancers. It’s like they’re bringing you in and along with them as they’re presenting their stories,” Stone said.
“You’re able to feel the transition and the movement with them as they go through the different steps and scenes,” Conklin added.
Stone spoke for the pair when she said that Shen Yun Performing Arts is “absolutely a must-see.”
With reporting by NTD Television, Roland Ree, 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.