MILWAUKEE—“We were so looking forward to this, and we are so excited that we came,” said Susan Littlefield, a financial manager for a group of five restaurants, “and it’s been amazing.”
Shen Yun’s mission is to restore 5,000 years of traditional Chinese civilization which is a culture inspired by the heavens and passed down over generations. It does so by traditional dance and music.
What the friends soon saw were the fine details and the dazzling display of hundreds of hand-made costumes, headpieces, and props associated with each of the 20 or so mini-performances of Shen Yun, as explained on the company’s website.
“We were just commenting that every dance there are just new beautiful costumes, with vibrant colors, and the use of the sleeves on their gowns, and flowers, the lotus flowers,” said Ms. Tischer, a fundraiser for not-for-profit organizations, and former development director for Children’s Hospital.
“A Shen Yun performance features the world’s foremost classically trained dancers, a unique orchestra blending East and West, and dazzling animated backdrops—together creating one spectacular performance,” states the Shen Yun website.
“I think it’s beautiful, the colors are stunning,” said Ms. Tischer. “I like their use of the backdrop screen. It’s such a visual art; it’s wonderful.”
At the heart of Shen Yun is dance, classical Chinese dance and traditional folk and ethnic dance.
“There’s so much precision to their dance, and they are so athletic, the men, and the women as well, so it’s very beautiful,” said Ms. Littlefield.
Also according Shen Yun’s website, “Shen Yun weaves a wondrous tapestry of heavenly realms, ancient legends, and modern heroic tales, taking you on a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese culture.”
Ms. Littlefield said, “I find it very fascinating [traditional culture]. I am a Christian, but I appreciate the Chinese culture, how old it is, 5,000 years.”
Ms. Tischer learned more about Chinese culture. “I felt that there’s a lot I didn’t know, and so now through the program and the emcees that are sharing information about [each program]” she learned more.
Both the women found common values between the culture they saw onstage and their own.
“We can see a peaceful theme to the Chinese values,” said Ms. Tischer. A “creator, and wanting to get to heaven, also … the protection of family … like in [the dance] The Steadfast Lotus.” This piece is about a mother and daughter facing modern day persecution in China for their spiritual faith.
Ms. Tischer would tell her friends that Shen Yun is about “learning, beauty, kind of an escape that you can get absorbed in.”
Reporting by Sophie Wang and Cat Rooney
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.