(Minghui.org) Shen Yun Performing Arts added joy and wonder to the beginning of the New Year by bringing on stage a brand new 2014 production to audiences in three cities on January 2: Little Rock Arkansas, Dallas Texas, and Ottawa Canada.
Guests with diverse professions and backgrounds left the theaters impressed by Shen Yun’s beauty in dance, music, and costumes, and richness in spirituality. Many appreciated the opportunity to learn authentic Chinese culture near home.
Audience Overwhelmed by the Talent of Shen Yun Performing Arts
Shen Yun presented to the audience beautiful dance, original music, costumes, and backgrounds that covered a span of 5,000 years of Chinese civilization.
Mr. Herren Hickingbotham, a famous philanthropist, with Mrs. Susan Hickingbotham
Herren C. Hickingbotham, owner of his family business and a board member of the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Foundation, attended the Little Rock Shen Yun performance at the Robinson Center with his wife and son.
He said, “It was amazing. The talent was just overwhelming. And the choreography, the costumes, and the orchestra and the music was phenomenal.” The wide variety of the content also left him in awe, “It spans a lot of time, a lot of culture, and a lot of costumes.”
Ms. Mary Huddleston (right), along with her daughter Erika, attended the opening night performance in Dallas, Texas on January 2, 2014.
Mary Huddleston, granddaughter of oil tycoon H. L. Hunt and chair of a namesake foundation, considered the show “very impressive.” “The dancers are incredibly talented and athletic, as well as graceful.”
Shen Yun dancers impressed Shaun Fender, a classical ballet dancer with the Arkansas Festival Ballet, who said that he could not take his eyes off the dancers. He was amazed by the strength and energy of the male dancers in Shen Yun. From the perspective of a dancer, he understands that Shen Yun dancers must have undergone arduous training in order to achieve this level of sophistication. Mr. Fender called the Shen Yun director “a genius.”
Ole Iversen, executive vice president of DSV Air & Sea, a global transportation company
Shen Yun Performing Arts took Ole Iversen, an executive of a global transportation company, on a journey “through the dynasties” at the opening night in Dallas, at the Winspear Opera House, on January 2.
“I think these are all top performances. The artistry is very good… It’s all top notch,” Mr. Iversen said.
Mr. Scott McEntire noted the perfect synchronization and precision of various elements of the show.
The different colors of the performance also enhanced the visual entertainment of Shen Yun. As Scott McEntire, a film writer, mentioned in Little Rock, “The colors are outstanding. It’s very exciting to watch.” He also noted the perfect synchronization and precision of the various show elements, “The choreography, the timing between the video and the live performance is impeccable. The timing is perfect for everyone. Very coordinated.”
The grand live orchestra combining Eastern and Western instruments was also a highlight of the performance.
Ricky Smith, a third year clarinetist at Southern Methodist University, outside of Dallas Texas, stressed, “I thought the music was great. I was really impressed with the orchestra. Every instrument was awesome. The woodwinds were great. You feel the difference because this is Chinese music with western.”
The unique combination also left him a deep impression, “I really like how the Chinese instruments were integrated into the standard orchestra. It was a really cool experience.”
Audience Appreciates the In-Depth Cultural Presentation
Ottawa, the political center of Canada, covers areas of both the English-speaking and French-speaking regions. Many residents are not only bilingual but also very interested in diverse cultures.
Lloyd Stanford, an influential community leader and the president of Le Groupe Stanford Inc., saw the show with his wife in Ottawa and called the Shen Yun performance “brilliant.” Regarding the Chinese culture, he mentioned, “I found it very attractive because I didn’t have as keen a sense before of the different dynasties, and I also liked the variety.”
Renowned physicists Victor Apollonov and Paul Corkum were celebrating 35 years of friendly relations between their two families with an evening out at Shen Yun’s opening night performance at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.
Dr. Apollonov expressed that Shen Yun “definitely reflects very deep roots of Chinese culture and it’s a way of discovering the rich Chinese culture, definitely. So it’s a great, great event in the cultural life of Canada.”
The cultural values in Shen Yun made him think that “Chinese culture can give us a lot of new bright pages of the [society]… Everything that you can see here is tremendous.”
Mr. Luan, a visiting scholar from China, watched the show in Little Rock. He used three “very good” expressions to convey his excitement. He saw a Shen Yun DVD in China and decided to see the live show during his visit.
He said that Chinese culture had been severely damaged in the past century, so Chinese people don’t even understand their own culture. Mr. Luan appreciated “the refined China with profound Chinese cultural depth that Shen Yun has presented.”
Mr. Luan was very touched, and felt that Shen Yun was using this artistic form to allow people to truly have a good understanding of Chinese culture. “The songs of Shen Yun express a very deep belief meaning with universal values and Chinese characteristics,” he added.
Keith Hinton, the vice president of a construction company, liked the cultural depth that the artists of Shen Yun expressed, “We’d thank them for taking their time to educate people about traditional culture and things. It’s got to be a passion also, because I think they were so good. They could be doing many things very culturally in the arts, but they decided to do something that’s also very educational. So we thank them. It’s amazing. Just tell them to keep doing it because it’s wonderful.”
Shen Yun’s mission is to revive the 5,000 years of Chinese civilization, but it cannot be performed in China under the communist regime, which has been trying to destroy Chinese culture. Deborah Olsen, an office executive for a gas company, called Shen Yun “beautiful, graceful, wonderful.” When speaking of it being restricted in China, she said, “It’s such a shame because it’s such a beautiful performance. It shouldn’t be shunned like that.”
Shen Yun Evokes Deeper Thoughts
Miss Ma saw the opening performance of Shen Yun in Ottawa on January 2.
Miss Ma, a student from China, was very touched after watching the performance in Ottawa. She said she cried during the performance.
“If one really experiences and feels it [Shen Yun performance], one would find the calmness one has always been looking for. Shen Yun can bring people this calmness. The show is great!” Miss Ma shared.
She also mentioned that Shen Yun was very inspiring. For the lyrics of the songs, “There is something there. I just cannot put it in words.” “When the screen shows the universe and its miniature, I bursted into tears. I understood so much at that moment!” She added.
Jeff Choi, a networking security consultant, was “completely impressed” by the performance in Dallas. As a new year has come, Shen Yun gave him “a new hope and outlook to even better myself.”
Mr. Choi’s wife, Celeste, was also very touched, “For me…when the singer…when one of the statements that came up on stage that said ‘The truth will open up your memory,’ I thought that was awesome… To me it meant a lot.”
Regarding the modern stories about the persecution of Falun Gong, he said, “The struggle that the people go through but still trying their best to be a part of the civilization, the community and the global community – it really touched me inside. All the struggle that people go through being able to express through the arts, the dance, and the music, I mean that was able to completely show the human struggle. But at the same time, the beauty and the fact that they were able to overcome and still try… I mean there was just so much… a great experience for me.”
Note: The last performance for Ottawa and Dallas this season is on Saturday, January 4, 2014.
Category: Shen Yun Performing Arts