(Minghui.org) The New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts staged three sold-out shows at North Carolina’s Charlotte Knight Theater on January 26-27, 2013. The state-of-the-art facility is part of the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center and ranks among the leading arts centers in the nation.
Entire Families Fall in Love with Shen Yun
The Charlotte Knight Theater (Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times)
Among the enthusiastic crowd was L.C. Lynch, the owner of Stone by Lynch, the Southeast’s premier stone masonry company for residential and commercial installations.
Mr. Lynch brought his wife, Annette, and four of their five daughters to the Shen Yun show.
Mrs. Lynch she fell in love with the show, saying, “I do—I love it!”
Mr. Lynch wasn’t sure if his daughters would find the performance interesting or exciting, but Emma Joy, 7, Story Beth and Anna Beth, both 6, all agreed that they loved Shen Yun.
Dance Student: Shen Yun Dancers “Magnificent”
Joann Ma, a dance student, with her mother, Jia Song, at Shen Yun Performing Arts in Charlotte (Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times)
Also in the audience was Jia Song, who was accompanied by her husband, and daughter Joann Ma.
Joann Ma is a marketing student and dancer, and was ‘Miss China’ in the 2012 Miss Asia Carolinas pageant, hosted by the Carolinas Asian-American Chamber of Commerce in Charlotte.
Mrs. Song’s husband said that classical Chinese dance “is something that’s sort of been forgotten.” He noted that that although he had spent a lot of time in China, he had only seen the type of dance used during Communist movements, since the 50s.
After nearly 60 years of Communist rule in China, and notably during the Great Cultural Revolution, the virtues and values of traditional Chinese culture, like benevolence, honesty, and propriety, were nearly destroyed.
Shen Yun was established by a group of classical Chinese artists with the desire to revive the essence and true “divinely inspired” Chinese culture.
“They seem to be bringing that back and I like that. It seems to have fallen by the way side,” Mrs. Song’s husband said.
Mrs. Song mentioned that she teaches Chinese and has just started teaching classical Chinese dance. She not only enjoyed the Shen Yun dancers, but also thought that the digital backdrops were wonderful, adding that she had never seen anything like it before.
“It’s like a live person goes in and flies away—It’s wonderful,” Mrs. Song enthused.
The synchronicity and focus of the live orchestra and the dancers impressed her, too.
“The dancers are just great,” she said.
Shen Yun Number One Christmas Present
Mike Stahnke and his wife, Eliza Stahnke, enjoy an evening at Shen Yun Performing Arts in Charlotte (Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times)
Another enthusiastic audience member, Mike Stahnke, a commercial appraiser, brought his wife, Eliza Stahnke to the Shen Yun show.
Mr. Stahnke said that Shen Yun tickets were number one on her Christmas-wish list. “She was asking for this about a month before Christmas,” he said.
As far as Christmas gifts go, “That was all I wanted,” said Mrs. Stahnke, who is a speech pathologist.
After seeing the show, Mrs. Stahnke said, “It lived up to my expectations.”
“And then some,” she added.
Mr. Stahnke was very happy to see such abundance and variety in the show. “There were so many different kinds of dances,” he said. “I feel like we got a whole idea of what classical Chinese dance is.”
“The costumes were just phenomenal and the colors are just beautiful,” Mrs. Stahnke added.
Mrs. Stahnke said that she learned about the history behind classical Chinese dance, and many things about contemporary China.
When asked if they would recommend Shen Yun to others, Mr. Stahnke said that they would tell their friends and family “that we loved it!”
Mrs. Stahnke agreed. “Yes!” she said.
“This is definitely something we’d recommend,” Mr. Stahnke said.
“It’s unlike anything I have ever seen before,” Mrs. Stahnke added.
Chris Jensen, a retired software engineer, and Glen Field, a high school teacher, were each pleased to see Shen Yun (Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times)
Ms. Field said that she wrote her master’s thesis on French baroque dance and was a dancer in high school and college. She also studied and performed ballet and ethnic Spanish dance.
“The dancing is great and the costumes are just incredible,” said Mr. Jensen.
“I think it’s really wonderful,” Ms. Field said, adding that she was especially impressed with the dancers’ foot movements.
Mr. Jensen was taken by how the digital backdrop and the dancers seamlessly worked together. “The people disappearing and going back worked out perfectly—just amazingly perfectly,” he said.
Ms. Field also marveled at the challenging tumbling techniques and flipping in classical Chinese dance.
Not being very versed in ancient culture before the performance, the couple said that they were grateful to be learning about its true essence.
Ms. Field said that the spirituality in Shen Yun’s stories was profound.
Shen Yun Uplifts Charlotte Theatergoers
Sherry Pintea and Jeff Pintea attend Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Charlotte Knight Theater on Jan. 26 (Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times)
Jeff Pintea, a dairy manager, was in the audience accompanied by his wife, Mrs. Pintea, who works in the IT industry.
Mrs. Pintea especially enjoyed Shen Yun’s colors.
“Oh, it was so colorful and expansive,” Mrs. Pintea, said, trying to find the right words. “It’s just so awesome and we loved it!”
She said that she found Shen Yun to be very uplifting and alive. “Just beautiful,” she said.
“It Was Really Fun!”
Polly Mithchell, owner of a Primrose preschool, her husband, and father from South Dakota attend Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Charlotte Knight Theater on Jan. 26 (Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times)
Also attending the Shen Yun performance was Polly Mitchell, her husband, and her dad visiting from South Dakota.
Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell are the owners of a Primrose preschool in North Carolina. Mrs. Mitchell described Shen Yun as “beautiful” and the dances and costumes as “absolutely gorgeous.”
“It was really fun to the see the culture!” she enthused.
Mrs. Mitchell enjoyed both the digital projections and the images on the backdrop, and how the dancers “just absolutely floated across the stage—it was beautiful, very pretty,” she said.
Classical Chinese Dance Is “Peaceful”
Julie Kelly and her daughter, Megan, attended Shen Yun together at the Charlotte Knight Theater on Jan. 26 (Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times)
Julie Kelly, a full-time mom, and her daughter, Megan, thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the Shen Yun show.
Ms. Kelly said that she has been dancing ballet since she was in the first grade, and she loves the arts and participates in theater as well.
Mrs. Kelly was struck by the dancers’ hand movements and at the challenging tumbling and flipping techniques.
“The way it flows and to think of that as a tradition that is 5,000 years long,” she said, more impressed that Shen Yun is “bringing this dance back.”
“I think that is really amazing. I really like that,” Mrs. Kelly said. She was also excited by Shen Yun’s well-rounded presentation of ancient Chinese culture, stories of modern-day China, and “How it all evolved over the years,” she said.
“I’m kind of looking at it that way too, rather than just the arts,” she added.
Ms. Kelly said that she found the classical Chinese dance peaceful. “It’s a lot more peaceful than other dance,” she said.
Mrs. Kelly said that she found the Shen Yun Orchestra’s Chinese instrumentation, “really interesting to hear.”
Shen Yun Brings Pride, Tears, Says Mainland Chinese
Shen Yun Performing Arts International Company’s show in Charlotte, North Carolina. Andy Wang from mainland China says: “I think it’s great to see such a performance, representing authentic and orthodox Chinese art and culture overseas.” (Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times)
Also loving the show was Andy Wang, who is from China, and has worked in America for several years.
“This is my first time watching Shen Yun,” he said. “I think it’s great to see such a performance, representing authentic and orthodox Chinese arts and culture overseas. It’s really very nice. At one point in the show, I had tears in my eyes. I was very touched, deeply touched!”
He said that Shen Yun “depicts both the glorious ancient dynasties and modern China.”
After seeing the contemporary content of the show, he said, “Seeing the dance about Falun Gong practitioners under persecution made me realize how different China has become. I believe that we should further promote traditional Chinese culture and end immoral behavior in China, today.”
He said that he had heard “people talking about how wonderful the show is,” but found that it was “even more amazing when you watch it in person and immerse yourself in the programs and the music. It’s a powerful, astonishing feeling.”
Mr. Wang had a profound emotional response to Shen Yun. “Being there in person gives you a very strong feeling that is almost like a calling. It’s completely different from hearing about it or watching it on TV.”
Mr. Wang said that he had “noticed that almost 95 percent of the audience members were Americans or Westerners,” adding, “They all looked delighted and excited about the show. As a Chinese, I felt very proud to see this.”
He concluded by saying that he hopes that the popularity of Shen Yun continues to grow.
CATEGORY: Shen Yun Performing Arts