University Professor: Shen Yun Combines ‘The Very Finest of the Arts’

'It is simply a performance in which I forget reality and I feel that I am just living in this experience.'
December 16, 2018

BERKELEY, Calif.—“This is just fantastic; I’ve never seen anything like it. It has many dimensions,” said university professor Richard Muller when he saw Shen Yun Performing Arts. “This the most wonderful dance I’ve seen.”

Muller is a professor in the Department of Physics at the University of California, Berkeley. His family loves dance, so they went to see Shen Yun together at Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall on Dec. 16.

“The skill is so great that I forget that they’re dancing. What I see is the show. And it appears so effortless that my thrill is increased … the thrill of watching it,” he said.

Shen Yun is based in New York and is the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music company. Its mission is to present China’s traditional culture and history for today’s audiences through the performing arts.

“It is simply a performance in which I forget reality and I feel that I am just living in this experience. It’s a wonderful introduction to a culture which I admire enormously, but I’m seeing it in a new dimension,” Muller said.

Shen Yun travels the world with an all-new program every year. Its performances include classical Chinese dance pieces, ethnic and folk dances, and vocal and instrumental solos.

“There’s the beauty, the color; there’s the dance; there’s the music. It’s all put together in a wonderful, wonderful combination,” Muller said.

Accompanying the dancers is a live orchestra that includes Western instruments and traditional Chinese instruments such as the two-stringed erhu, which dates back thousands of years.

“The music is something new to me, because it is such a blend of different cultures. I have a sense that the show is taking the very finest of the arts and integrating it into one wonderful thing. … I see what I think is a creation of a new kind of art,” Muller said.

He said the performance was beyond his expectations.

“I saw little excerpts of this, and I thought it was one of the most beautiful dancing performances I had seen, but that didn’t prepare me for how truly wonderful it really is,” he said.

He also admired Shen Yun’s state-of-the-art digital backdrop, which provides changing scenery for the dance pieces. It displays landscapes from ancient and modern China, heavenly scenes, and scenery from the myths and legends that are told in some of the dances.

“That’s brilliant,” Muller said of the backdrop. “It’s beautifully done. I was trying to understand exactly how [they] do it. But I think it really has integrated into dance something I’ve never seen before. It’s the new dimension. I think it adds enormously.”

“If you want to be dazzled by beauty, by music, by artistry, by dance, by singing, everything put together—this is the most wonderful combination of all the arts that I’ve ever seen,” he said.

With reporting by Gary Wang and Sally Appert.

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.