DETROIT—Shen Yun Performing Arts struck a chord on many levels for former singer Kristina Lypckyj as she took in the classical Chinese dance and music company’s Saturday evening performance at the Detroit Opera House.
Ukrainian-born Ms. Lypckyj sang professionally from the 1960s to 1990s in the Ukraine and abroad. Now retired, the veteran performer was deeply moved by Shen Yun’s powerful soprano soloists.
“Gorgeous voice—absolutely magnificent,” said Ms. Lypckyj after the Feb. 8 evening performance. “The singing was wonderful.”
In addition to the vocal soloists, Shen Yun’s live orchestra—a blend of traditional Chinese and Western instruments—was both soul-stirring and beautiful, she said.
“I enjoyed the music; the intertwining with the Chinese and Western music was specifically dear to my heart. I loved every minute of it,” she said.
“I loved the music and I loved the singing, very much.”
World-renowned classical Chinese dance and music company Shen Yun was formed in 2006 with a mission to revive 5,000 years of divinely inspired Chinese culture.
According to the Shen Yun website, this ancient culture—including its customs, traditions, spirituality, and art forms—was virtually destroyed under decades of violent repression by the Chinese communist regime. Overseas Chinese artists, fearing the culture would be lost forever, formed Shen Yun to keep the traditions alive.
Ms. Lypckyi attended the performance with Vera Andrushkiw, a former teacher of Ukrainian language and culture.
With the turmoil now taking place in Ukraine, Ms. Andrushkiw deeply related to Shen Yun’s vision of overcoming suppression.
“I identified with everything,” she said, noting some of the story-based dances in Shen Yun that depict modern-day persecution in China and the Chinese people’s hope “for human dignity, for your freedom, for your right to pursue your own culture.”
“I agree whole-heartily,” added Ms. Lypckyj.
One of the story-based dances in the program, titled Ne Zha Churns the Sea, follows the life of mythical demi-god Ne Zha. A turning point of Ne Zha’s journey is his battle with the evil red dragon king, whom he must defeat to free his village from danger.
Ms. Andrushkiw said she believed that the “red demon” referred to in that story and in some of the songs was deeply symbolic of China’s struggle to overcome communist oppression.
“The red demon, to me, was actually oppression that China is really undergoing now,” she said. “To me, this is what the red demon actually represents.”
Ms. Lypckyi said the story-dances, which aim to express the moral core essence of traditional Chinese culture, were wonderful.
“China is known for all the beautiful stories, the ancient stories—we love them too,” she said.
Reporting by NTD Television and Justina Wheale
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.