Shen Yun Leaves Indelible, Heartwarming Memories for Denver, Colorado, Audiences (Photos)

( The New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts International Company inspired audiences in four shows at the Buell Theatre in Denver, Colorado, February 22-24, 2013.

Senator Honors Shen Yun Conductor with Proclamation

Colorado Senator Nancy Todd honored Shen Yun Performing Arts International Company’s orchestra conductor Antonia Joy-Wilson with a proclamation (Photo courtesy of NTD Television)

Nancy Todd, a Colorado senator, honored Shen Yun Performing Arts Orchestra conductor Antonia Joy-Wilson with a proclamation to mark her outstanding career achievements.

Dr. Joy-Wilson debuted at age 21 with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, making her the youngest female to conduct a major American orchestra. She went on to enjoy an acclaimed international music career in North and South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. In 2011, she joined the New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts to serve as conductor for its international orchestra.

After the third show concluded, Senator Todd presented the award, telling Ms. Joy-Wilson, “We are very proud of you and glad to have you back in Colorado. Shen Yun has been a great addition to the arts in Colorado, and we are delighted to have them back in Colorado, and delighted to have you here.”

Ms. Joy-Wilson pursued graduate studies in orchestral conducting at Yale University and holds a doctoral degree in orchestral conducting from the University of Colorado. In 1996 she won first prize in the International Classical Music Conducting Competition in Mexico.

Ms. Joy-Wilson said, “On behalf of Shen Yun, I am so honored by this beautiful proclamation, and especially from you in Colorado. We are just very excited as striving artists to make this the most beautiful show possible and to continue our work on behalf of Falun Dafa and for Shen Yun.”

Senator Todd praised Shen Yun, saying the evening’s performance was a delight. “What an incredible performance: the music, the dance, the acrobatics, the entire presentation. [It was] just really calming, and yet such high energy on the stage. Having that balance just really brought tremendous joy to us to be able to watch and partake in it.”

In a similar fashion, Ms. Joy-Wilson praised Senator Todd for her efforts in speaking out against human rights abuses in China.

According to the Shen Yun website, traditional Chinese art forms, as well as human rights and freedoms, have been virtually destroyed during 60 years of violent campaigns waged by the Chinese Communist regime.

“We are very fortunate to have a senator like you that has cared so much about this cause and has helped others who have been in peril through very difficult circumstances. You have stood up and been their voice, and we really appreciate that,” said Ms. Joy-Wilson.

When Senator Todd was told that Shen Yun is not allowed to perform in China, because traditional art forms remain suppressed there, she said she was saddened. “Being able to speak up and have the freedom to speak for what we believe in—I think oftentimes we take that for granted, and so it’s a shame to me to think that this wonderful artistry is not permitted to perform in China. The Chinese people would so much appreciate seeing and being able to take advantage of all the wonderful artistry and the beauty that is portrayed.”

Shen Yun Orchestra “the Best I’ve Ever Heard,” Says Conductor

Rick Crompton and his wife, Jeannine, enjoy Shen Yun Performing Arts at the February 24 performance at the Buell Theater (Photo courtesy of Epoch Times)

Also in the audience was Rick Crompton, a conductor, who said he was thrilled to experience a new style of orchestral music. He was accompanied by his wife Jeannine, who owns a real estate brokerage firm.

Mr. Crompton said the Shen Yun Orchestra was the best he’s ever heard. “The conductor is fabulous, the orchestra was fabulous—so, so wonderful,” he said, adding it was his first time to hear traditional Chinese instruments in an orchestra.

“And the composers, the people that did some of the work to bring this music together, mixed with the [dance] perfectly.”

Mr. Crompton has studied music and conducted orchestras and choirs for nearly 30 years, a career that saw him take choirs to Rome to perform for the Pope.

He was impressed with all the elements that came together in Shen Yun—the orchestra, the many dancers, digital backdrops, costumes, and props. “The costuming was fabulous, the music, the conductor is the best I’ve ever heard. The whole thing was magical. I enjoyed the whole thing, basically, because it all came together.”

Mr. Crompton enjoyed Shen Yun’s digital backdrops, which are timed precisely to create the illusion that the dancers can jump in and out of the screen. “The animated backdrop, when they would come in and appear on stage, that was brilliant. That was great choreography.”

Mr. Crompton especially enjoyed the dance “Phoenix Fairies,” which features graceful female dancers with colorful shimmering skirts, dancing amidst the clouds in a celestial paradise. “It was magic. The brilliant colors and beautiful costumes just grabbed me.”

He also enjoyed the dance “Sewing the Flowers of Heaven,” which features graceful dancers scattering flowers as blessings for all of humankind. In Chinese mythology, celestial maidens appear as heralds of great tidings, bestowing blessings on humans. “They looked like flowers; they made a beautiful impression because the costumes were so delicate, when they laid down they looked like petals.”

Shen Yun Orchestra Is “Excellent!” Says Former Symphony Board Chair

Mr. Bob Chapman enjoyed Shen Yun Performing Arts at Temple Buell Theatre (Photo courtesy of Epoch Times)

Bob Chapman, former chairman of the board of the Midland Symphony Orchestra of Michigan, was also in the audience. He praised Shen Yun, saying, “The orchestra is excellent! It’s very interesting to me to hear the blend of the Chinese instruments and the Western instruments.”

Mr. Chapman said that he loves classical music and enjoys going to concerts. Because he knows music well, he was able to discern subtleties in the orchestra. “You can hear the Chinese, the pentatonic music, but you can also hear the Western chords and that sort of thing.”

He also appreciated the difficulty involved in the precision timing of each performance, including the orchestra, dancers, and the animated backdrop. “It was very interesting to me to see how they were able to maintain the precise timing versus the events … on the screen.”

Shen Yun uses animated, projected images that interact with the performers. According to the Shen Yun website, “These digital backdrop designs complement and synchronize all aspects of the performance: the characters, color of the costumes, specific dance movements, props, lighting, the story being told, particular notes played by the orchestra, and special audio effects.”

The skill of the musicians and of conductor Antonia Joy Wilson also impressed. Mr. Chapman. “The precision that has to happen, being able to coordinate with the dancing, with the events on the screen and so on, requires a great deal of focus and precision, and that was amazing to me.”

Actually, Mr. Chapman thought every single aspect of the show was extraordinary. “It’s all wonderful. The costumes are amazing, the bright colors, and, of course, the dancing.” He said he would “remember [Shen Yun] for a long time,” adding, “It’s a unique performance.”

Denver Marketing Executive Enjoys Shen Yun

Chris Balster attends Shen Yun Performing Arts in Denver (Photo courtesy of Epoch Times)

Also seated in the audience was Chris Balster, an executive marketing specialist. “I really enjoyed it!” he exclaimed. “It was very clean and refreshing. It was bright. Part of that was reflected in the dance, the music, and the song, also in the clothing and the colors, and the flow of everything was very clean and fresh.”

Having had the opportunity to visit China, Mr. Balster appreciated the cultural elements in Shen Yun.

“I thought it was excellent, very entertaining, and also the ancient culture that was brought out in the performers was excellent … It also tied in some of the more modern culture and brought the two together.”

Classical Chinese dance has three main components—bearing, form, and technical skill. In addition, it has absorbed “profound wisdom from every era and dynasty, it has become a complete system of dance embodying traditional aesthetic principles,” according to Shen Yun’s website.

“I definitely understood and respect the fact that they’re tying in the inner elements in this production tonight. I think that the spiritual elements they were showing tonight were very interesting,” Mr. Balster said.

Shen Yun Emotional, Visceral, Says Attorney

Walther Gerash, an attorney, expressed his admiration for Shen Yun’s deep inner meaning and beauty: “It gives you an emotional and visceral impression. The talent is so great and the communication is so powerful.”

Mr. Gerash is a distinguished lawyer, nicknamed “Mile-High Thunder,” after the Mile-High City of Denver, and listed among the best lawyers in America. He successfully argued a case before the Supreme Court.

“I love these artists,” he said, expressing his warmth toward the Shen Yun performers.

Mr. Gerash said the show was new and unique for him. “It’s an aesthetic experience that I’ve never felt before,” adding, “It’s a great feeling, a great aesthetic feeling.”

He said he would tell all of his friends about Shen Yun, “Come see it!”


CATEGORY: Shen Yun Performing Arts

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