My Spirit Has Been Uplifted’ by Shen Yun in Des Moines

DES MOINES, Iowa—Kay Marie Pieper described Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company’s journey through 5,000 years of Chinese civilization as mesmerizing, glorious, and uplifting to the soul.

Along with her daughter, Pamela Massey, Ms. Pieper attended the Shen Yun performance at the Des Moines Civic Center on March 21.

“Sophisticated dance techniques, an orchestra joining instruments from both the East and West, beautiful costumes, and a stunning back drop—this is Shen Yun at first glance. But digging deeper, one discovers a sea of traditional Chinese culture,” states the company’s website.

Ms. Pieper said she was “mesmerized with the beauty, the wonder, the grace, and the [dancers’] beautiful hands, and how everything is so graceful, so lovely, and so beautiful.”

Ms. Pieper described herself as a homemaker, mother of five, grandmother of six, and a great grandmother of two little grandchildren. “We are going to a birthday party of the oldest grandchild tomorrow, he’s four,” she explains.

Shen Yun takes audiences through stories told by classical Chinese dance of beloved myths and legends, and of actual history from ancient times to the present.

“Classical Chinese dance has a long history of thousands of years. … Soaking up profound wisdom from every era and dynasty, it has become a complete system of dance embodying traditional aesthetic principles with its unique dance movements, rhythms, and inner meaning,” states the company website.

To complement the storytelling are brightly colored and intricate costumes which are an “authentic presentation of the attire that comes from China’s divinely inspired traditional culture,” according to the company’s website.

“It was just absolutely breathtaking. It just took my breath away.
— Ms. Kay Marie Pieper
“The costumes were gorgeous and the [animated digital backdrop] settings,” she explains. “It was just absolutely breathtaking. It just took my breath away. Everything was absolutely glorious.”

The performance touched her heart. “My spirit has been uplifted. It was magical,” Ms. Pieper said.

She found it truly uplifting and magical due to “the sights and sounds of every single scene, every single different performance,” she said.

“It was just beautiful. The music, singers, and piano playing, and [ehru also commonly called the two-stringed Chinese violin] that was magnificent too. And then the singers were just absolutely marvelous. I’m just so absolutely mesmerized by … the gift and the talent of all of them,” she reflected.

“The singers of Shen Yun use bel canto technique to sing Chinese text [and] … their ability to do this is unparalleled. Moreover, the song texts … are original works brimming with philosophical reflection about human life and containing deep layers of meaning,” states the company website.

“It was a spiritual experience.”

She felt “total peace, total harmony, total refreshment, and renewal in my spirit” on hearing the vocalists songs, she said.

“[Renewal] because of the wonderful gift that God has given each one of those dear people that worked so hard to entertain all of us,” she said.

Reporting by Sherry Dong and Cat Rooney

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.

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