PORTLAND—Traversing 5,000 years of civilization, Shen Yun seeks to educate modern audiences on China’s traditional culture through stories, songs, and dances.
Joey Nelson, president of manufacturing company JoeScan Inc., enjoyed the story-telling component of the performance, describing it as enlightening.
“It was beautiful. Very well performed. Beautiful outfits. Beautiful scenery. Very competent … performers,” he said.
Nelson attended Shen Yun Performing Arts with a friend, Amanda Miller, at Keller Auditorium in Portland, Oregon,
The traditional Chinese dance company was founded in New York in 2006 with a mission to transmit authentic Chinese culture through the arts. Each year, the company brings an all-new program on tour, consisting of dance vignettes, musical soloists, and stories told through dance.
Miller, an administrative assistance at Intel, was captivated by the classical Chinese dance pieces. The dance title “Fairies of the Clouds” was her favorite. In that piece, dancers move with long flowing blue fans to capture the grace and serenity of heavenly maidens.
Nelson was also in awe at the costumes and elements incorporated into the dances.
“The use of colors, and the sleeves, and the veils, and the fans; all the colors, the outfits, the fabrics, it was beautiful,” he said.
“I was really impressed with how they’re able to express themselves, just by the movements, and the extra things like how long the sleeves were, it’s very beautiful.”
Aside from the visual spectacle, Nelson came to learn things about China’s culture and history that he didn’t know. Those takeaways came from some of the stories told by the dancers on stage.
Two stories resonated with Nelson: “The Story of Liang Zhu” and “The Ties of Affection, the Tao of Destiny.”
The former is an adaptation of the Chinese classic known as Butterfly Lovers, which centers around a young woman who wants to go to school to become a scholar, instead of getting married like her parents want her to.
“It’s interesting to watch and see and learn,” Nelson said of these stories.
In the latter story, a young woman falls in love with a sculptor despite her father’s objections. The dancers’ emotions radiated through the performance, such that Nelson was able to feel the what the characters were going through.
Nelson found his new learnings of traditional Chinese culture to be most valuable.
“That’s what … drew me to [the performance], that’s what I wanted to come see. I think it’s very important.”
And these learnings needed to be shared, he said.
“[I] need to have my son come see, and learn, and understand as well.”
With reporting by Mary Zhang.
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time and has covered audience reactions since the company’s inception in 2006.