Shen Yun ‘Gives hope to people’

AUSTIN—Mary and Richard Urbanowski had an enlightening night watching Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Long Center for the Performing Arts, in Austin Dec. 28.

Mr. Urbanowski, a retired executive from the global company KMG Chemicals, said New York-based Shen Yun’s revival of 5,000 years of Chinese civilization was a learning experience for all.

“The costuming was just spectacular, and the dance, of course, is outstanding,” Mr. Urbanowski said.

Mr. Urbanowski said it was an educational experience and the values of the traditional Chinese culture as well as the beauty came through the dance. 

“It almost felt like you were there,” Mrs. Urbanowski added, calling it an “enlightening experience.”

The Power of Culture

Also in the audience was Ms. Stella Arar, an architect, who attended the performance with a group of friends.

The spirituality of the traditional Chinese culture had resonated deeply with Ms. Arar. She said she saw the message “that we all come from the stars and we are going back,” Ms. Arar said. 

“This is it,” Ms. Arar said. “Let’s forget our differences and let’s focus on what’s more important and the way to get back.”

Ms. Arar was moved by the choreographers who worked to be able to connect the audience with such a message through dance.

“I think all of it together, just the assemblage of it together worked perfectly because the colors, the music, they all speak to each other,” Ms. Arar said.

“It gives hope to people and it focuses on the culture,” Ms. Arar said. 

Mrs. Rima Elhage, a teacher, who attended the performance with Ms. Arar, said this was her first encounter with traditional Chinese culture and that it was magical.

“It’s a happy place, why change it? That’s what I feel,” Mrs. Elhage said. “Overall, it was amazing.”

Mrs. Martina Awada, a medical assistant, said she would have loved to bring her sons to the performance and hoped there was much they could learn from it.

“It’s beautiful. There were times where I just closed my eyes and I just wanted the music to carry me to those scenes that were behind the artists,” Mrs. Awada said. “Sometimes I felt like I [was] there with them.”

Mrs. Awada said there was much more she wanted to learn about the culture herself. “It’s just amazing, I enjoyed it very much,” Mrs. Awada said. “It was insightful.”

Mr. Faisal Awan and Mr. Mohamad Elhage were in attendance with the group to see Shen Yun for the first time as well.

Last year, Mr. Awan said, they had all wanted to see the performance but ran out of time. 

“So we decided this year that definitely we’re going to come down,” Mr. Awan said. “It was more than expected.”

With reporting by Catherine Yang

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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