SAN FRANCISCO—Television host Diane Wagner and her friend, psychologist Dr. Brenda Wade, enjoyed an evening together watching Shen Yun Performing Arts on Wednesday, Jan. 3.
“I loved it. I thought it was really good. I think the artistry is beautiful,” Ms. Wagner said of Shen Yun.
“The show is incredibly beautiful,” said Dr. Wade. “It was inspiring.” Dr. Wade, like her friend, also hosts television shows. According to her website, she hosted her first TV show at age sixteen.
Shen Yun is a New York-based classical Chinese dance and music company that has the mission of reviving 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture. Its touring companies travel the world with an all-new performance each year.
Ms. Wagner works in public relations and marketing for businesses, producing commercials and television shows. She saw Shen Yun for the first time about two or three years ago, and this time she invited Dr. Wade to go with her.
The two friends watched the performance at the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House.
“The dancers are very well trained, extremely fluid, very strong,” Ms. Wagner said.
Each Shen Yun performance includes many classical Chinese dance pieces as well as Chinese ethnic and folk dances, accompanied by a live orchestra. Ms. Wagner especially enjoyed a dance piece in which female dancers twirl and toss large handkerchiefs.
“I like the athleticism and the awe factor of the handkerchiefs flying across,” she said.
She was also impressed by the height of the leaps and flips of the male dancers.
Dr. Wade said, “My daughter is a ballet dancer and choreographer, so I love movement. … I like the Mongolian chopsticks [dance], because the athleticism was so strong.”
Some of Shen Yun’s dance pieces tell stories and legends of China’s ancient culture as well as tales of modern China.
“There are a few [stories] that brought tears to my eyes,” said Ms. Wagner. “The [dance piece] where the gentleman was a warrior and then he becomes a monk—that was a very powerful story. … I felt like [the] stories moved me.”
China’s traditional culture is known as a divinely inspired culture, according to Shen Yun’s website. The website explains that under today’s communist regime in China, traditional values and spirituality are denounced; a show like Shen Yun thus cannot be seen in China today.
“I love the spiritual part. I teach meditation and teach spiritual development,” said Dr. Wade. “China lost a lot of its heart. … Without a spiritual center, no people can be healthy. You can’t be whole without that.”