”I’m now retired, but being a designer, you can’t help but appreciate the wonderful colors that are in the performance,” said Mr. Perkins, who worked as a designer for General Motors for 40 years.
“Every group that comes out, I’m checking out the colors of the ladies costumes, the men’s outfits. And the backgrounds; I don’t know who drew the backgrounds, but the backgrounds are sensational—the sense of perspective, the color. And you know there is going to be some part of it moving, and you’re curious about what part is going to be moving.”
Mr. Perkins was referring to Shen Yun’s enormous hand-painted digital backdrop, which seamlessly synchronizes all aspects of the performance. For some of the pieces the backdrop is animated in order to enhance the story being played out on stage.
Mr. Perkins and his wife, Lorayn, attended the performance to celebrate his retirement.
“We just enjoyed the fifty-year anniversary of our marriage, and this was an occasion to come and celebrate my retirement,” he said.
As well as its signature backdrops, Shen Yun performances feature award-winning classically trained dancers, operatic soloists, a live orchestra, and hundreds of colorful handmade costumes.
Mr. Perkins said it was the couple’s first time seeing Shen Yun, which tours internationally each season showcasing China’s authentic traditional culture.
“I think it is sensational,” he said.
“This is our first exposure to anything like this and we wanted to be sure that we, in our lifetime, had a chance to see and appreciate the Chinese culture. When we saw the ads on TV and the color and everything, we figured that we just couldn’t miss it.”
He was particularly smitten by the Shen Yun Orchestra and its unique blend of Chinese and Western instruments.
“The music is incredible,” he said. “You’re taken up with the dance and the color and the background, but every so often you stop and you listen to the wonderful orchestra and the quality of the music that is accompanying the dance and everything.”
Shen Yun’s soloists sing in bel canto style with Chinese lyrics, which are translated on the backdrop—something Mr. Perkins appreciated.
“It’s wonderful that they have the words with the songs so that you can get the deeper meaning,” he said.
The divine element inherent in the true Chinese culture came across for him as well.
“There is very much a spiritual origin to all of this,” he said.
“It kind of signaled to me the commonality of all people of the earth and the quest for peace and the exchanging of our cultures. It’s just so sad for whatever reason throughout history that we’ve drifted apart from loving and understanding our fellow man as a people of this planet.”
Mr. Perkins concluded by saying he was sorry that his friends weren’t there to see the show that he enjoyed so much.
”It was an extravagant performance and I’m so glad we got to see it,” he said.
Reporting by Joan Wong and Joan Delaney
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.