Veteran Hollywood Make-Up Artist Loves Shen Yun’s Costumes

February 23, 2014

LAS VEGAS—Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company received a standing ovation after playing to a full house February 22 at Reynolds Hall in The Smith Center for the Performing Arts. 

Hundreds in the audience stood to give a warm final round of applause to the performers on stage and in the orchestra. 

“We’ll come back next year,” said Lola Kemp, a 30-year veteran Hollywood make-up artist who was co-nominated for a Primetime Emmy in the category of Outstanding Achievement in Hairstyling. Ms. Kemp’s credits include the popular film The Color Purple and television shows MacGyver and Who’s the Boss.

Shen Yun is a non-profit, New York-based classical Chinese music and dance company that creates an all-new production each year and tours to over 100 cities in 20 countries reaching an estimated 1 million theatergoers annually. 

Shen Yun’s stated mission is to revive traditional Chinese culture, and each performance includes a variety of vignettes, each no longer than 10 minutes, that transport audience members across China’s vast lands and its 5,000-year history. 

Each piece, whether classical Chinese, folk, or ethnic dance, includes different costumes.

During the performance, Ms. Kemp was thinking about more than what was seen on stage.

“So, as they were changing costumes and changing scenes, I’m picturing what’s going on in the back because that’s what I did for 30 years—motion picture TV in Los Angeles.”

She was impressed with how quickly the dancers needed to change costumes and return to the stage in a graceful way with their flowing outfits. “Loved it,” she added.

In addition to the costumes, another major feature of Shen Yun is its live orchestra, which combines traditional Chinese instruments and classical Western instruments. 

Jose Suarez, who accompanied Ms. Kemp, enjoyed the Shen Yun Orchestra.

“Oh, I loved it. It was wonderful—all the different instruments that were involved,” he said.

One Chinese instrument, in particular, struck a chord with Ms. Kemp—the erhu—a 4,000-year-old two-stringed instrument that conveys a wide range of emotions.

“[I] loved it. That was the best for me because it’s just so calming for the body,” she said. “I can feel it inside.” 

Reporting by Lu Rusong and Albert Roman 

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit Shen Yun Performing Arts.

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.


Las Vegas, United States
Shen Yun New York Company