The Shen Yun Performing Arts Global Company returned to Berkeley for an additional four performances at Zellerbach Hall.
“I was blown away. It was just beautiful. [It] made me smile, I wasn’t expecting to smile as much as I did,” said Beth Laughlin, an interior designer for Kitchen and Bath Interior.
“When the curtain went up and the colors and the orchestra below me. That was just amazing. And to see my nieces’ faces just light up when that curtain first came up, I was not expecting that. I was not expecting the vivid and just the bright colors,” said Steve Garrison, owner of Steve Garrison Plumbing.
Shen Yun’s costumes and colors come from China’s different ethnic groups and dynasties that were said to be inspired by the heavens.
“It’s all stunning. It’s the colors, the grace, the strength combined—it’s just magnificent,” said Laughlin.
“The way they carry themselves, just perfectly, it’s like their lower body and their upper body are separate. Their feet are going so fast but yet they’re so perfectly in form with one another,” said Garrison.
Chinese classical dance consists of thousands of years of history and a variety of jumping and tumbling techniques. At the same time, they maintain the graceful manner people carried long ago.
“In a way, with tradition, we stand on the shoulders of our ancestors sometimes. We use what we’ve learned from them through tradition to better our own lives in the future, and our families around us and things,” said Borgar Solnordal, owner of Owner Marsol Management Group.
“It made me realize how lucky we are to live here in a place where we have so many opportunities and so many freedoms that other people in the world might only dream about or think about, you know,” said Solnordal.
Under the communist government, many people are not free to practice what they believe in, such as the spiritual meditation group Falun Dafa that was depicted in the performance.
“Hopefully, someday this show can be seen in China. Hopefully, that day will come,” said Garrison.
“Anybody that has the opportunity, they should go and see it at least once,” said Solnordal. “And I’m sure if they see it once, they’ll want to go again.”