Shen Yun ‘Awe Inspiring’ Says Former Executive
NORMAL, Ill.—Bill Mayo found Shen Yun Performing Arts amazing. He was very impressed to see Shen Yun performers tell stories through dance and music.
Bill Mayo is a former Caterpillar Inc. executive. He now teaches part-time at Eureka College.
He called Shen Yun “awe-inspiring.”
Shen Yun Performing Arts performs ethnic and classical Chinese dance while an orchestra accompanies the dancers.
Shen Yun aims to bring China’s traditional culture to life on the stage.
Mr. Mayo said he was most impressed by a dance program called The Steadfast Lotus. In it people in China are practicing Falun Gong, a traditional meditation discipline. A mother presents her daughter with a banner decorated with a lotus flower. The banner has three words: “Truth, Compassion, Tolerance,” the central tenets of Falun Gong.
That tranquil moment is upset when Communist Party police show up and drag the mother away. The performance depicts present-day stories of Chinese families ripped apart by the regime’s ongoing persecution of Falun Gong.
That dance, “was really impactful. I thought that was a beautiful story,” said Mr. Mayo. (The mother and daughter are reunited.)
Shen Yun uses a projected backdrop to set the scene for different programs. The backdrop is also animated and at times the dancers interact with the backdrop. For example, heavenly maidens on the backdrop soar down from the heavens and then they enter the stage as live performers.
The animated backdrop impressed Mr. Mayo. “The staging is incredible,” said Mr. Mayo who said the large background comes to life, with “the performers springing forth from the screen.”
“China has been a country for the past 5,000 years, and it’s only been communist for what 50 or 60. I think they have a tremendous story to tell,” Mr. Mayo said of Shen Yun.
Reporting by Michelle Chen and Nicholas Zifcak
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit Shen Yun Performing Arts.
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