Shen Yun Takes North America by Storm; “Standing Room Only” in San Francisco

( Shen Yun Performing Arts made appearances in seven cities across North America in the past week from January 5 to 12: Fort Worth and Dallas, Texas; Memphis and Knoxville, Tennessee; Montreal and Hamilton, Canada; Raleigh, North Carolina; and San Francisco. The New York City performances premiered on January 10 and will continue through January 19.

The audiences described their emotions as “a feeling of joy and unlimited possibilities,” “enriching,” “uplifting,” and “loving it [Shen Yun]!”

The San Francisco Opera House opened up seats with incomplete views and standing room tickets for the Shen Yun weekend performances on January 11 and 12. As a result of overwhelming response from audiences in northern California, Shen Yun added a matinee on Wednesday, January 15 in Sacramento, the capitol of state of California and about 1.5-hour drive from San Francisco.

Leaders Appreciate Shen Yun beyond Entertainment

Mr. Bucky Waters, current basketball broadcaster with ESPN and former Vice Chancellor at Duke Medical Center. He served as head coach for the West Virginia University men’s basketball and the Duke University men’s team.

Bucky Waters commented after seeing Shen Yun on January 11 in North Carolina, “The texture, the choreography… There was a tenderness about it that was more than artistic. It was giving. I really appreciated it. It was a great show, very relaxing, uplifting.”

Mr. Waters visited China last year with the Duke basketball team: “So I had a little feel for the highlight… But this was cultural. This was grassroots. Very impressive. I’m sure it has done well and will do well in the future. I think it is a great portal, a great vision of the culture of China.”

Mr. Bill Prince and Mrs. Prince

Bill Prince, a former advisor on immigration in the Reagan administration, saw Shen Yun in Knoxville, Tennessee on January 8.

“I thought it was a wonderful performance. It was very enriching. I think the choreography, the synchronization was amazing, the costumes… All of it!” He didn’t hold back in his praise: “What’s so sad is that a lot of the performances cannot be done in China today. But the rest of us around the world are learning about Shen Yun and loving it more and more each day!”

Mr. Prince had heard good words about Shen Yun in Washington DC and was looking forward to seeing it in Knoxville. He described Shen Yun as “very entertaining as well as educational.”

Mr. Bill Landry saw Shen Yun in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Bill Landry, actor, director and award-winning producer, appreciated the fact that Shen Yun transcends cultures: “The colors, the creative natures of the stories, and folklore… It is funny it’s in Chinese. I don’t know what they are saying, but I really do, we understand what they are saying. We say the same things. We just do it differently. Very methodical, very spiritual, very Asian, very different, but the same!”

Economics Professor David Zilberman at University of California at Berkeley described his emotions as “a feeling of joy and unlimited possibilities… It was really spiritual. I was never aware of the religious meaning, now it becomes much much deeper.”

He loved the Shen Yun music: “The music is incredible. It’s the new wave of music to integrate the East and the West. This is the way of the future.”

Mr. John West loved the gracefulness of Shen Yun Performing Arts at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco on January 11.

For John West, senior vice president of a US bank, the side of China he saw in Shen Yun Performing Arts was a refreshing one: “It is nice to see the genesis of Chinese culture.”

He supports the mission of Shen Yun Performing Arts, which is to revive the 5,000 years of ancient Chinese civilization. Mr. West said the side of China people have seen during the past 60 years is only the one under communist rule. But in Shen Yun, he saw “the spiritual side [of China] that we don’t see or learn about that often.”

Dancers Marvel at the “Clean” and “Clear” Presentation

Ballet teacher Preya Shah was impressed with the discipline of the Shen Yun dancers at the War Memorial Opera House on January 11.

Preya Shah, who teaches ballet at the San Francisco Ballet and East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, enjoyed the afternoon matinee performance of Shen Yun in San Francisco on January 11.

“I love it,” she said. “I love the use of the props; I love the formations; I love how balanced the stage always is, how clean the technique is; so obviously [there is] a lot of training. I also love the … different tricks, the fans, and the chopsticks.”

Ms. Shah enjoyed the level of training and discipline she saw in the Shen Yun dancers: “You can tell it is obviously very clean and you can tell that by the uniformity of the dancers. It has a lot of really clear formations, clear positions; everyone is unified and I like that kind of work. It shows hard discipline, a lot of discipline behind the work and so I really do enjoy it.”

Andrea Schmid-Shapiro, former Olympics champion in gymnastics, marveled at Shen Yun dancers’ superior technique and liked the heavenly scenes on the digital backdrop.

Liz Lattimore with one of her two daughters at Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, January 6.

Michael Lattimore, an independent oil and gas producer, attended Shen Yun Performing Arts with his wife Liz and two daughters. “I thought it was brilliant, pretty, amazing,” said Mrs. Lattimore, board member of Texas Ballet Theater and former ballet dancer. “And they [the dancers] look like they just float across the stage.”

Art Professionals Touched by the Achievement and Dedication

Ms. Martha Weaver, former director of development for the Knoxville Symphony, had decided to see Shen Yun Performing Arts with an interest in the orchestra. Ms. Weaver, who was also on the board of directors for the Historic Tennessee Theatre Foundation, came to Shen Yun with high expectations.

“A-plus. It was just spectacular,” Ms. Weaver said at the Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth on January 5.

“I knew that the precision would be superb, and I was interested in the music too. The aesthetic sense I knew would be there—and I was not disappointed in any of it,” She added: “Everything matched very well, and the precision of the dancers was phenomenal.”

Su Zhiheng, a Chinese musician, at the Shen Yun Performing Arts performance at the Place des Arts in Montreal on January 7, 2014.

Chinese musician Su Zhiheng was enthralled by the presentation of classical Chinese dance and music at the Place des Arts in Montreal on Tuesday evening. He credited Shen Yun as “the best show I’ve seen in terms of promoting traditional Chinese culture.”

“Around the world, we love wonderful things, it’s something we all share—it’s truth, compassion, and beauty,” Mr. Su said. “Shen Yun plays a vital role in [bringing out] these things.”

As a musician born into a musical family, Mr. Su was particularly impressed by the music of Shen Yun. “My father plays the erhu very well, my mother plays the pipa, and I play the guzheng and guqin,” he explained. “I think the elements of Chinese musical instruments work very well with Western music. It was just perfect,” said Mr. Su.

“Even if it is very cold outside, I am warm from the bottom of my heart, and I’m very happy,” Mr. Su said about his experience attending the Shen Yun performance.

Mr. Jay Sieleman, director of administration of the Blues Foundation in Memphis, Tennessee.

Jay Sieleman, director of administration of the Blues Foundation attended the second Shen Yun performance at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts in Memphis on January 5.

Mr. Sieleman had high regards for Shen Yun’s original music seamlessly blending East and West and appreciated the difficulty of doing so. He saluted Shen Yun artists and praised their superior technique and passion for the arts.

Shen Yun “Connects with the Divine”

Classical painter Richard Dorais speaks to a reporter at the Shen Yun Performing Arts show he attended at Place des Arts in Montreal on January 9, 2014.

”I believe the Shen Yun performance is a living painting.” This is how Richard Dorais, a classical painter, described the Shen Yun Performing Arts performance that he attended at Place des Arts in Montreal on January 9.

“It is bringing to us the great traditions of the painters of all the eras. It’s a Renaissance, but it’s coming through China … bringing back the gift that we have lost.” He added.

“It’s a living painting with the light, the colour, and the special effects. And we see that matter is yet again called to serve the spirit, and not the other way around.”

“The drawings are very beautiful. The drawings, the lines, the movements, the compositions of the lines, the perspectives with the backdrop, and the interaction of the special effects [through the backdrop]—all this, adds to the space,” he said.

“I think the show puts us in connection with the divine … we can enter into a relationship with something much bigger than us, which is not so far from us… It’s a divine spirit that is very open and very accessible to us,” he commented about what he understood from the program.

Musician Steven Halpern was very impressed by the dedication of Shen Yun artists in San Francisco.

Steven Halpern is an award-winning musician, dubbed the founding father of healing music. He attended the Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra concert in San Francisco in October 2013 and went back to see Shen Yun on January 8.

“I always felt a connection with that,” Mr. Halpern said at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco, Jan. 8.

“Ancient China really treasured and honored its musicians, not just as entertainment but as a spiritual discipline to connect with the divine,” Mr. Halpern said. “To see that here and to read it in this script of the translation [of lyrics], very inspiring. I was very happy to see that.”

“The production—with the colors, and the flowing robes and everything—really is a wonderful event,” Mr. Halpern said. “It’s a spectacle, it’s inspirational, and it’s just a visual feast and a musical feast.”

Category: Shen Yun Performing Arts


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