Former Broadway Actress Describes Shen Yun as ‘Transcending’


Shen Yun’s Global Company returned to the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts for the season. Audience members were touched on a deeper level as the performance exceeded their expectations.

“Their extensions are behind their head, and they fly through the air, even the men and they just hang in the air. It’s breathtaking. It’s just beautiful. It’s fantastic,” said Tami Damiano, a former Broadway actress. “The fact that it was bringing in the physical, what the dancers were doing, but also visually, what the projections were bringing out. It just transformed it into this whole other plane.”

“The artistry, the athleticism, just the beauty—the way they use their costumes, the sleeve dance, the colors, the orchestra. I love the blending of the Eastern and Western cultures. It’s just so astounding,” said Damiano. “And to see that this is where [a lot] of the ballet moves that you’re familiar with, started here. It’s amazing.”

Shen Yun’s projection backdrop helps with the storytelling as the dancers interact with it.

“You bring together, you amalgamate our new technology with the old ancient and precious beauty and simplicity of the dance. And it just makes it absolutely magnificent. I think that I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Marleen Sullivan, artistic director at Center Stage Performing Arts Foundation.

“They took my breath away. I mean, between the dancing itself and the costuming and the screen with the scenery changing, it was really very inspiring. The songs were inspiring, and it was a message of faith. And it made me very happy,” said Sullivan.

According to Shen Yun’s website, the songs are meant to resonate and inspire audience members.

“The two [songs] that were sung by the tenor of the soprano, things that were so deeply spiritual, things that I believed all my life, and how much I enjoyed being reminded of those truths,” said Ray McClendon, an author of children books. “Even though China’s on the other side of the world and the culture came from the other side of the world, how much we’re the same in how our beliefs shape who we are on our better days.”

“They were aware of the Creator, and the creation, and not to believe in evolution, but to understand that there’s a creator. And those are all things that I believe very deeply,” said Sullivan.

Traditional Chinese culture is divinely inspired, something that has been lost in modern China. Audience members admire the courage and kindness being conveyed.

“To keep your culture is so important because you don’t want to lose that part of what makes each culture unique. The love of that can just radiate outwards,” said Damiano. “It’s really important to have the soul, and the mind, and the body connection.”

“This would be a true renaissance of spirit and humanity and compassion and love and virtue and all those things that really make the world a better place, what were meant to be,” said McClendon.

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