Dan Waldon, an engineer, and his wife Martha Graham-Waldon, a writer, were there to experience the wonder of Shen Yun.
Shen Yun features classical Chinese dance, which has a long history of thousands of years, passed down continuously within the imperial palace and ancient Chinese theater and opera.
It is also known for having state-of-the-art graphic technology. According to the company’s website, “Shen Yun’s digital-backdrop team creates vividly animated settings, extending the stage and transporting the audience to a world where heaven and earth are one.”
Ms. Graham-Waldon was particularly taken with this union of ancient traditions and today’s technology.
“I thought it was a perfect combination of ancient classical arts with modern multimedia,” she said.
The backdrops are magical windows to completely different realms. Some scenes even transcend this world, entering a heavenly palace where fairies dance amidst mystical clouds or peering into the solemn majesty of a Buddhist paradise.
“I liked the dancers that came bounding out of the screen, and the beautiful ladies who came rising out of the mist,” Ms. Graham-Waldon said.
The Shen Yun website states: “Classical Chinese dance is composed of three main parts: bearing, form, and technical skill. Other than complete training in the fundamentals, it also entails systematic training in movements and postures, as well as very difficult jumping and tumbling techniques.”
“I love the aerodynamics of the dancers who dance like acrobats and just defying gravity and going head over heels, kind of unexpectedly. I thought that was amazing,” Ms. Graham-Waldon said.
Mr. Waldon said, “The show was wonderful, very spectacular. I loved the whole essence of the show and the music.”
Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra is the unique combination of both Western and Eastern instruments. A Western orchestra plays the foundation, while traditional Chinese instruments lead the melodies. The sound produced is uniquely pleasing to the ear.
Ms. Graham-Waldon said she “felt invigorated by it, the appreciation of life and celebration.”
Ms. Graham-Waldon has been a freelance writer for over 20 years, and her articles have appeared in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, the Valley Press, the Good Times and other local publications. She has recently published her memoir, A Normal Life: Surviving and Thriving through a Sibling’s Descent into Schizophrenia.
Reporting by Alex Ma and Laurie Gorham
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.