Escondido, California: Shen Yun Gives Cultural Enthusiasts An Experience of a Lifetime (Photos)

( The New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts wowed audience members for five breathtaking shows at the California Center for The Arts, Escondido on December 28-31, 2012.

Shen Yun Filled with “Compassion, Love, and Kindness,” Says Author

Author and playwright Laura De Anda enjoyed Shen Yun Performing Arts at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido on Dec. 29. (Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times.)

One of the many VIPs at the show was author and playwright Laura De Anda. The thing that she liked most about Shen Yun was the “compassion, love, and kindness,” adding, “I see it in the different [Shen Yun] performances, but I can see it in the dancers’ faces, too.”

The recipient of Imagen Foundation’s Best Live Theatrical Production and co-author of “8 Ways to Say I Love My Life,” was highly impressed with the beauty of Shen Yun.

Ms. De Anda summed up her impression of Shen Yun in a few words: “Vivid colors, beautiful images, beautiful music and oh, my gosh, the costumes are gorgeous. It’s a feast for the eyes and ears, and for the mind as well.”

She said that she had a deeper appreciation of different cultures after seeing Shen Yun.

“What I bring with me from the show is just beautiful fascination for life, again, and the appreciation for world cultures,” she said.

Ms. De Anda said that it was hard to miss the fact that Shen Yun was coming to her city.

“Shen Yun has probably the best marketing department in the world! Seriously, it’s covered—billboards, newspapers, posters—that’s why I found out about Shen Yun. So my hat goes off to the publicity department for Shen Yun. It’s amazing!”

When asked if she would recommend Shen Yun to her friends and family, she replied, “Absolutely!”

Theater Goers Impressed

Voice-over artist, James Girsch, attended the show accompanied by his friend, Shirley. Both of them thoroughly enjoyed Shen Yun.

Mr. Girsch was clearly impressed: “There are four things that really stick out—the colorfulness, the synchronized dancing—they’re very detailed, [and I’m] very impressed with the bowl dance—the orchestra is outstanding, and the synchronized movements in conjunction with the orchestra.”

Shirley nodded in agreement. “It’s really spectacular. It’s perfect. I’m so amazed by the choreography, the costumes, the color, the music—everything is perfect. I want to see it again. I would recommend it. I’m going to highly recommend it to people, to my family and friends to watch it.”

Shen Yun’s Colors Instill Hope and Happiness in Artist

Kim Ruby and her artist daughter, Jennifer Barber, saw Shen Yun at California Center for the Arts on Dec. 29. (Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times.)

Also in the audience was Kim Ruby, a certified nutritionist, and her daughter, Jennifer Barber, a painter.

Miss Barber said the Phoenix Fairies was the most captivating dance for her. “I think the phoenix dance was so breathtaking. The way everything flowed, and the dresses, and the girls.”

As an artist, she particularly appreciated the vibrant colors in the show.

“Everything was so bright and vibrant, and I haven’t seen this many pastel colors put together and put together in an aesthetically pleasing way, because they’re difficult colors to work with.” She also noted that the colors helped create an atmosphere of hope and happiness.

Together Like a Wing of a Bird

“The costumes were graceful, but the dancers were graceful themselves. How they moved, and how limber they were, and how they could bend, and how they were always a team. They were always a beautiful … extension of each other, like a wing of a bird. That’s what it reminded me of—they were all together like a wing of a bird,” explained Mrs. Ruby.

While discussing the last dance, Divine Mercy, Mrs. Ruby revealed a little bit about her philosophy on life.

“If you don’t have peace in your own home, in your own heart, in your own family, and on your own block, and in your own community, you don’t have peace in the world.”

According to the program book, a reoccurring theme in the performance, is the traditional Chinese belief that “Heaven protects the righteous, and goodness ultimately triumphs.”

Mrs. Ruby shared a similar perspective. “Because God’s greatest attribute is justice. Love, for sure, but justice for sure, too.”

Mrs. Ruby discussed her overall feelings about the show. “I thought it was beautifully graceful. I thought going to the different provinces was a wonderful twist.”

Shen Yun “Was fantastic. It Was a Wonder!” Says Award-Winning Designer

Award-winning designer Caroline Loisos saw Shen Yun Performing Arts at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido and thought it was fabulous. (Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times.)

Also enjoying the show was Caroline Loisos, an award-winning designer.

“It was fantastic. It was a wonder!” she said of Shen Yun, adding, “Every piece that I saw became my new favorite,” she said with excitement.

Ms. Loisos has won top awards at both the state and national level, as a residential building designer.

She mentioned that Shen Yun gave her some new perspectives that she would incorporate into her future design work.

“That made a big impression on me during the performance—the different scenery in the background of the dancers. I thought they were exquisite.”

Ms. Loisos talked about the colors in Shen Yun’s costumes, saying, “I love the colors. I can see how the classical costumes were enhanced by the very bright colors. It was just remarkable.

“I like the green colors, the pink colors, the blue, the dark blue, and the fairies. I can’t narrow it down to one. I loved all the costumes.”

She continued, “I loved the costumes and how they flowed. It was like they were flying in the air. The costumes brought another element to the dancers that I have never seen before.”

Ms. Loisos said that she had a deeper appreciation for Chinese culture, after seeing how the show’s music and dance were brought together.

“It was like art and movement all together with the music,” she explained. “When you look at a painting, it’s static, but this was constantly in motion. The costumes had a lot to do with that.”

Ms. Loisos talked about how impressed she was by the dancers’ high level of skill.

“The male dancers, when they were flying in the air, doing their somersaults—they did that so gracefully; it’s remarkable how graceful that was. And with the women dancers, they were like they were gliding on ice.”

She seemed pleasantly surprised by the spiritual aspect of Chinese culture portrayed in Shen Yun. “I wasn’t expecting that part of the show, and it did show me part of the Chinese culture that was very interesting and in-depth. I like that connection to the outer being.”

Ms. Loisos said that she would post her exeperience of Shen Yun on Facebook, saying it was an “unexpected, fantastic show!”

Watercolorist Appreciates Shen Yun “Authentic Portrayal” of Chinese Culture

Mary Severhill (L) and Margie Tannler (R) enjoyed Shen Yun Performing Arts at the California Center for the Arts. (Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times.)

Mary Severhill, a Tai-chi teacher and water colorist, attended the show accompanied by her friend, Margie Tannler, a water colorist and calligrapher.

Ms. Severhill said that the timing of Shen Yun performing in the City of Escondido was “very important” for her.

“Being on New Years Eve and the start of a new year, it gave me a sense of hope and uplifting, and to keep striving to what you’re trying to do.”

The way that the music, dance, and the themes in the performance came together, really impressed Ms. Severhill.

Ms. Tannler said that she found “authenticity” in Shen Yun’s performance, something that she didn’t even find while visiting China, some weeks ago.

“It was important for me to see [Shen Yun] because it was an authentic portrayal of the past, whereas now in China, it is not,” she said.

Ms. Severhill said that China needs to reconsider its priorities. The line, “Don’t be blinded by money and riches,” in one of the Shen Yun songs, highlighted that point, exactly.

“Yes!” Exclaimed Ms. Severhill. “If you are constantly trying to achieve, and be successful as they say—you know, material-wise—you are liable to lose your spirit. And so, this shows us that they all go together, body, mind, spirit.”

Ms. Severhill pondered the deeper meaning in Shen Yun and the interconnectedness that we all have to heaven and each other.

“The heavens are with us, in our lives. We need to remember that. And we need to use that in our lives. We need to have compassion and mercy for everyone because we all come from the same source.”

This theme was something that Ms. Severhill felt throughout the entire performance, but the last piece, Divine Mercy, left her with an especially strong impression. “We are supposed to have mercy for each other,” she said.

Ms. Severhill really enjoyed the dance set, Phoenix Fairies, saying, “That was beautiful; it reminded me of water lilies.”

She finished by saying that “authentic Chinese philosophy” was portrayed throughout the entire performance.

Ms. Severhill said that anyone who wants to know traditional Chinese culture should come see Shen Yun.

Musician Inspired By Shen Yun Orchestra

Brett Sanders with his mother, Annie Sanders, felt inspired by the Shen Yun Performing Arts Orchestra. (Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times.)

Musician and composer, Brett Sanders, felt inspired after seeing the Shen Yun Performing Arts Orchestra perform on December 29.

“I write music, and so listening to the orchestra and seeing the dancers, I’m thinking ‘Wow! Wow! I have a lot of ideas; it gives me a lot of ideas, a lot of inspiration,” Mr. Sanders said.

The combination of different instruments in Shen Yun have never been paired together before in public, from the dizi, a flute, to the pipa, a lute.

“The sound is more pungent, more striking, and then you put that together with the violins … just gives it a totally different sound, different voice, different flavor or feeling, different mood,” he said.

The use of drums and bells combined with the violins “brought a feeling of anticipation and wonder,” Mr. Sanders said.

The combinations were “very effective, very unique, quite different, [and] very stimulating,” he added.

Mr. Sanders also talked about the fact that everyone needs to know where they are coming from.

“And so this show lets people know that you have to know where you are coming from, in order to know where you are going,” he said.

After seeing the show, Mr. Sanders had a deeper understanding and appreciation for the value of cultural heritage.

“This show, to me, exemplifies such a firm root, traditional Chinese, the traditional culture,” he said. “It helps me to see the importance of that in every culture, American culture, Japanese culture, whatever it is.”

Shen Yun enhances the dance and music with modern technology, through a range of digital backdrops that harmonize with the other elements of the show.

“The technology, and the dance, and the music all combined were just great! It was beautiful,” said Mr. Sanders.

Accompanying the musician-composer, was his mother, Annie Sanders, a retired civil servant.

Mrs. Sanders said that she was thrilled by Shen Yun. “It wasn’t surprising, it was thrilling. It was nice to be a part of it. The feeling was wonderful. It’s hard to put it all into words. You had to be there to experience it.”

Ms. Sanders said that everybody should make sure to see Shen Yun.

“Oh please go! Please go! You have to go! You don’t want to miss it,” she said. “It’s something you do not want to miss! Believe me, I’m so glad I came.”

“I Could See [Shen Yun] Again, and Again, and Again!” Says TV Host

Another distinguished audeince member, TV host Dr. James Capers, said that he purchased Shen Yun tickets “four months ago” because of “the energy from the advertisement.”

“The dancing was absolutely exquisite; the precision, the timing, the rhythm, the authenticity of the different regions were clearly indicated. The costumes reflected the regions of each place. What I liked most was the screen, the background screen,” said Dr. Capers.

Dr. Capers enjoyed how the animated digitized projections formed the backdrop of each piece.

“The wonderful synchronization [of] the movement from screen to stage truly indicated good direction: I was just extremely pleased,” said Dr. Capers.

“I love the selection of music, the choreographic demonstration throughout the entire show shows cleverness and genius.

“I think that on a scale from 1 to 5, I would definitely give it a 5, and that is without prejudice, because the show was so good. The costumes were so nice that I think that I can only say that I was disappointed that it ended—I wanted more!”

Traditional Chinese culture is deeply imbued with spirituality. According to the Shen Yun website: “Principles such as benevolence and justice, propriety and wisdom, respect for the heavens, and divine retribution, all come to life [in the show], washing over the audience,”

Dr. Capers said, “I sense the spiritual message [from Shen Yun]: That they are reaching out to people to show love and unity through the method and practice of spiritualism, Chinese spiritualism. The message is quite clear, love, piece, harmony, not abuse. I believe at this point in our lives, that message is necessary. We need that message.”

He commented on the dancers saying that they “share and bring forth something which is extraordinary. And that extraordinary concept that they have through dance, rhythm, singing, love and sharing, is how to infiltrate those who do not have an insight and awareness, on what the Chinese culture is going through, and what they have to offer.

“I can only say, that the show has made me smile, has brought forth to me great joy, and I could see it again, and again, and again. And always something new would probably be revealed to me. That is a true performance, and you can quote me on that,” Dr. Capers concluded.

Shen Yun is “Perfect,” Says No. 1 Best-Selling Author

Author Robert Allen made it out to Shen Yun Performing Arts’ performance at Escondido’s California Center for the Arts on Saturday. (Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times.)

Another enthusiastic audience member, Robert Allen, a New York Times best-selling author, said that after hearing about the show, he told himself, “I’ve got to go.”

“It was fantastic,” he said, of the show. “So organized, so perfect. Perfect.”

Mr. Allen is a renowned financial adviser and author of several books—including a number-one national bestseller that stayed on the New York Times best-seller list for over a year .

“I liked the different stories from different regions of China. The Tibet region and the Mongolian region,” said Mr. Allen. “We here in America, we just don’t realize how massive the country of China is. So this is good.”

He also enjoyed many other aspects of the show. “I loved the colors, the different layers of colors. They are just spectacular,” he said.

He summed up his impression of Shen Yun in a few short words: “It’s perfect. It’s gorgeous. It’s magnificent!”


CATEGORY: Shen Yun Performing Arts


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