GWANGJU, South Korea—Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company presented a magnificent performance at the Gwangju Culture & Art Center on the afternoon of April 11. “It was really wonderful! The backdrops and dancers were even more superb and touching than what I heard of before, as if the performance was done by fairies.
It was a perfect demonstration of the 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture. I look forward to next year’s performance,” exclaimed Mr. Kim Young Jin, director of Sejong TV’s Broadcasting Department, after he attended the Shen Yun performance with his wife, Hong Mei Ying, on April 11.
Mr. Kim said, “I was especially impressed by the scenes displaying the Monkey King jumping into and out of the river [Sand Monk Is Blessed]. Not only were these scenes really fascinating, but the music and sound effect were overwhelming as well. I’ll tell those who haven’t seen this kind of performance before all about it. The synchronization of music, backdrops and dances was really amazing.
“I enjoyed the live accompaniment of the orchestra. All of the dancers’ movements were in great unison. Their performance was splendid, and their costumes were brilliant and very beautiful. Performers’ harmonization with the images on the backdrops was all marvelous.”
“The synchronization of the three elements (dances, backdrops and music) was amazing. At first, I simply expected that part of the show would be good, but it turned out that the entire show was so spectacular. After seeing the two-and-a-half-hour demonstration of the 5,000-year history, I would like to introduce Shen Yun to more people, so that it will be an extravaganza again when Shen Yun performs in Gwangju next time,” he said.
As the president of Gwangju Jeollanam-do Branch of the Korean Youth Culture Artistic Development Association and former organization committee member of the 12th Korea International Youth Film Festival, Kim Young Jin said, “This is my first time watching Shen Yun, and I felt it was really fantastic. I saw part of the 5,000 years of the Chinese culture that I hadn’t understood. I look forward to Shen Yun performances in the future.
“The combination of dynamic backdrops and stage was really spectacular. In particular, the scenes that dancers flew to the backdrops, etc. were amazing. No wonder it gains in popularity around the world. I feel like telling many people that this is a fantastic performance.
“From the perfectly organized performances, I felt the inner grace of the dancers. The opening piece Descending to the World and other programs relating to the legendary story Journey to the West, [Sand Monk Is Protected], and the one relating to the Shaolin Temple [When Shaolin Monks Protected the Emperor] were especially interesting,” he said.
“Korean culture is preserved, but what has been done for traditional Chinese culture [by Shen Yun] seems to be much better.
“I had read Shen Yun promotional materials previously, but after seeing the show in person, I found that the performance, including the live orchestra, is impeccable and really very remarkable.”
In terms of the music, he said, “Shen Yun’s music is superb. As to the blend of Eastern and Western musical instruments, it is something that I had never heard before. The coordination of the performance on stage, backdrops and music was seamless.”
Mr. Kim’s wife, Hong Mei Ying, echoed her husband’s sentiments. “It is a pity that the wonderful traditional Chinese culture doesn’t seem to be found in China any more. It is great to appreciate the Chinese culture by sitting here [watching Shen Yun].
“I really enjoyed the programs depicting the harmonization between gods and humans, such as the piece displaying the scene that gods came to the aid of persecuted Falun Gong practitioners.”
She stressed, “If people in China could see Shen Yun, they would definitely see hope.”
Former Mayor ‘Come and see it’
After watching Shen Yun Performing Arts on April 11, former mayor of Gwangju City, Mr. Ko Jae-Yu, said, “The main theme of Shen Yun is justice—virtue being rewarded and evil punished. It is full of human touch and forbearance. The citizens of Gwangju most definitely should come and see it.”
“Overall, it’s very vibrant and full of energy and life. The grand animation on the backdrop brings everything on the stage together and makes the performance a masterpiece,” Mr. Ko said.
“I enjoyed the Chinese history that dated back to ancient times. The theme in different backgrounds and eras is presented in a sophisticated way. … I see a human touch and forbearance in it.”
“This kind of performance is hard to come by in Gwangju. The citizens must come and see it. Though the programs depict different times in history, they all carry profound Chinese history. The scale of the performance is grand, audacious, yet full of literary.”
Mr. Ko particularly enjoyed Sand Monk is Blessed. He said excitedly, “The choreography and the background image when Sand Monk suddenly emerges from the water merged terrifically well, unbelievable! It was a lot of fun to watch.”
Mr. Ko felt that he understood historical figures better after watching Shen Yun. He said, “I thought of Emperor Tang Taizong as a great general who once fought Korea. It turns out that he is a person with great virtue, highly welcomed and respected by his people.”
“What is passed down from China’s history is Truthfulness—Compassion—Forbearance. It’s of vital value. I hope Shen Yun keeps this positive influence and contributes to world peace. Shen Yun is the pioneer that promotes cultural exchange between East and West.”
Read the original Chinese articles.  
Reporting by Dai Deman, Kim Kyung-Aha and Bill Xu
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.