BALTIMORE, Md.—Two Maryland state house lawmakers offered proclamations for Shen Yun Performing Arts as the company kicked off five shows in Baltimore.
“We try to show the representation of everyone and everything and how things are important outside of legislation or policy, and how it is important that we incorporate arts into our world so that we can understand one another,” said Aletheia McCaskill, a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, representing legislative district 44B.
It was Del. McCaskill’s first time watching Shen Yun.
“I’m overwhelmed right now with just emotions because it is like I said, the peace of it all. You get excited, and you got some dark parts but then you got peace. And so right now, I just want to take a deep breath, almost meditate while I stay in here. Because I’ve taken it all in and now I just want to … because it’s alright, it made me feel happy inside. I’m literally at peace inside just looking at the performance itself.”
Shen Yun’s live orchestra is the first in the world to combine classical instruments of the East and West.
“Music not only captures what’s going on on the stage, but it has to capture the audience as well. So having that blend means that it feeds to, if you will, the soul of the people who are watching and who are listening to the music,” said Cheryl Pasteur, another delegate who offered the proclamation. Pasteur represents legislative District 11A. “It is not just for what goes on the stage. It’s for what the people in the audience are feeling.”
Simon Lee, a columnist, said he enjoyed the combination of classics and modern technology in the mini-drama drawn from the classical novel Journey to the West.
“That story combined classical stories with modern technology. Very smooth. There was also humor. It’s very interesting how they combined all these elements together.”
For Thomas Ewing, director of information technology at a health care firm, the costumes were a standout. “Especially the water sleeves. Yes. That was very nice. You heard everybody sort of go ‘ahh’ when they open up the curtain.”
As for the lyrics of the songs, Ewing said: “I think it was very much in line with what we would like to see here in America. I think some of what the lyrics said about people going away from God and traditions is happening here in America. And I think it’s something that resonates with most of America.”
Del. Pasteur said art brings people closer: “It shows how connected people really are, that we are more connected. That’s what art does. It shows us how we are connected to each other, no matter what we think, no matter who we dislike, no matter who we like, no matter who we’re angry at. Art makes you understand we’re really connected.”
Del. Pasteur added she felt it was important to do a citation for Shen Yun because she believes in the universality of the arts.
NTD News, Baltimore, Maryland