SEATTLE—Dr. Michael Adams, President of Faith International University, a college and seminary, has seen many performances from different parts of the world. But he found Shen Yun Performing Arts to be an entirely unique experience—it both captivated the eyes and recharged the soul.
“[It’s] visually stunning and in many ways, good for the soul. It’s invigorating. It revitalizes,” he said.
“[There’s] nothing quite like it!”
The college president saw the performance for the first time at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall in Seattle, Washington, on April 4.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts is the leading classical Chinese dance company, currently touring the world to share 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture to modern audiences. Its two-hour program consists of classical Chinese dance vignettes, musical soloists, and stories told through dance.
Adams was blown away by the colors and spectacle of the performance, describing the performance as a “sensory wonder.”
The performance was so visually captivating that it got Adams thinking of “the Earth, and the beauty of creation, and the beauty of the earth, and all the colors we see.”
Not only was the the show visually stimulating, the college president also felt an energy coming from the performers on stage.
“I’m certainly invigorated by it,” he said. “How could you not be? Really? How could you not be invigorated by the show? It’s powerful.”
“And to think that what humanity can do; the way humanity can move, with such grace, with such beauty, with such strength, sometimes it’s just power.”
“And, but to see it all, so … under control,” Adams said, in awe of the artists.
Shen Yun’s performers are world-class dancers, experts in classical Chinese dance, and Chinese ethnic and folk dance styles. Classical Chinese dance not only require the perfection of a system of physical forms, including difficult tumbling techniques, it also emphasizes the cultivation of the metaphysical in the form of bearing known as yun. Through yun, dancers can transmit their inner world through the expression of their outward movements.
For many Shen Yun performers this means the focusing on maintaining their character, such that a positive inner spirit may shine through in their dancing.
The dancers’ discipline impressed Adams.
“[The] professionalism is rather stunning, and the fact that everybody is so in sync, it’s sort of that discipline you would expect from the culture,” he said.
“We especially love to see it because it’s there’s nothing about it that’s distracting. It’s all very fluid and a oneness, which is powerful.”
The college president was drawn to Shen Yun’s mission to restore traditional Chinese culture, which to a large extent has been lost due to its systematic destruction over the course of seven decades of communist rule in China.
Adams said it was wonderful to see China’s traditions expressed so faithfully in the performance, uncorrupted by modern developments and trends.
“I think it’s always a vital thing to do, to always remember culture, to never forget it, and certain cultural practices need to stay with us forever,” he said. “They need to be passed down from generation to generation.”
The president said there was a uniqueness to this culture that he hasn’t seen before, leaving a distinct impression on him.
Asked whether he would recommend the performance to his friends, Adams replied, “Of course, without question.”
With reporting by Sunny Chen.
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.