The Shen Yun Experience Is Like a ‘Gourmet Meal’: Sacramento Audience

February 8, 2023

In Sacramento, audience members marveled at the artistry of Shen Yun Performing Arts.

“I loved the combination of the spirituality with the music, the dancing and the colors, the visuals. I mean just everything together. Wow! It was like a gourmet meal with different ingredients blended together and you get this unbelievable entree. It was great,” said Steve Barkley, a comedian.

“I love it. I love the costume. It’s very colorful,” said Angelica Urban, a real estate appraiser. “I love the twirling of the costumes. It’s very beautiful and delicate the way they flow their arms. And you can tell they’ve been through a lot of classical Chinese dance training.”

“I was especially struck by just how the ancient nature of some of the moves become the sort of today’s modern dance, starting from thousands of years ago. They were very inspiring,” said Jeff Russell, vice president of Rudolph and Sletten Healthcare.

“I mean live theater, there’s nothing like it,” said KC Gates, a physical therapist. “There’s nothing like supporting the energy and creativity of artists, and there’s nothing like being here, nothing. The energy of the room, all of our collective energy, to absorb it to feed the dancers and the performers, it’s special.”

“I was amazed to see so many young people playing so well, incredibly well, really tight and the compositions were phenomenal,” said Ivan Najera, a guitarist and songwriter. “I was taken by the harpist and then the two-stringed violin. I thought that was phenomenal, phenomenal.”

“So the main impetus was I love dance,” said Julie Russell, founder of Elocution. “I love watching dance and I appreciate it. But also just the courage and the appreciation for the divine. The reverence and just the incredible hard work and … sacrifices that were made to be able to keep this culture alive, to resurrect it, is what I’m impressed with.”

Audience members say Shen Yun is doing an important job of reviving traditional Chinese culture.

“I think it was G.K. Chesterton who said ‘holding on to tradition is giving your ancestors a vote,'” said Garett Walker, Operations Coordinator at Sonoma County Water Agency. “The beauty of tradition and how we’ve lost that, and even certainly America doesn’t have much of a deep tradition but we’ve lost a lot of that in our own world here in America and I think it’s sad. It’s just sad to see what’s happening.”

“It’s a privilege, it’s a great privilege, actually it’s an honor,” said Ms. Najera. “The emotions range from happiness to elation. It fills my heart. It gives me almost a spiritual moment.”

“And I liked that actually they did provide all sort of different areas of China … the Manchurian area, the Tibetan area,” said Gabriel Perigault, vice president of AECOM. “I think that helped you to understand that China is not only made up of only one overall element but also has different multi-ethnic components.”

“I really appreciated the genuine cultural and ethnic pieces, the elements that I would not otherwise see or know about, and the fact that it’s special because it can’t happen in China, which is a shame,” said Gates.

Under the Chinese Communist Party, those with faith are persecuted for their beliefs, as depicted in some of Shen Yun’s pieces. It is an essential part of China’s ancient heritage, which was nearly lost. Shen Yun cannot be seen in China today.

“For everything that’s going on in many cultures, and our American culture and Chinese culture and all different aspects, I think it’d be beautiful for everyone to see a performance like this, and see the way that it’s advanced,” said Urban. “I hope that communism can end so people can be more free and share what they want to share without feeling like they have to hide something.“

“I think it is absolutely critical,” said Barkley. “And I hope that this will enlighten more people and I hope that this reaches back to the Chinese people in China and encourages them to overthrow this wicked, wicked government that they have right now. Because the Chinese people want to be free, and to hide this culture, and their tradition, these ancient traditions, is a crime.”

“I have a longing for valuing virtues and valuing just others and seeing the beauty in others and seeing those conversations and those relationships being part of what can make me a better person … but I think we’ve lost some of that. We seem to be divided and frustrated,” said Walker.

“The message is freedom. The message is love, enlightenment, music,” said Barkley. “He [the MC] said something, in the ancient days, they would heal with music. And this really is a healing experience. There were many times that it actually brought tears to my eyes.”

NTD News, Sacramento, California