(Minghui.org) Audience members at the Winspear Opera House in Dallas, Texas were treated to two heavenly shows staged by the world renowned, New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts on Jan 2 - 3, 2013.

Shen Yun Artistically Touching, Says Professor

Janet Hunter, Vincent Hunter, and Vincent Curtis Hunter attend Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Winspear Opera House in Dallas on Jan. 2. (Amy Hu/The Epoch Times)

Janet Hunter, Vincent Hunter, and Vincent Curtis Hunter attend Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Winspear Opera House in Dallas on Jan. 2. (Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times.)

Audience member Mrs. Nancy Arnold, a technical instructor, had been wanting to see Shen Yun after seeing it advertised in various cities and countries that she had traveled to.

“But every time, I leave [the city] before the show starts so I haven’t been able to [see it],” she said.

“So here I am, and I’m delighted, absolutely delighted, to be here. And it’s everything I expected, it’s just beautiful,” she enthused. She bought tickets as a Christmas gift to herself.

Having a background in theater and pageantry, Mrs. Arnold, enjoyed the wide variety of elements that Shen Yun has to offer, including classical Chinese dance, bel canto-style solo vocalists, a stunning digitized backdrop, and a live orchestra.

“I love the way that they incorporate the [backdrop] and bring it right down into [the scene],” she said. “You’ve got the characters floating off … then coming right back.”

Mrs. Arnold was referring to Shen Yun’s digital, animated backdrop which allows performers to appear on screen one moment and on stage the next. With the use of technology, Shen Yun’s designers transport the audience into a world of vivid scenery, where heaven and earth are one.

“That’s absolutely amazing when they just pop up, and it’s like ‘Oh!’ The first time they did it, it was like ‘Oh, where did you come from?’ And I loved it. I absolutely loved it,” she said.

I Was Just Blown Away,” Says Professor

Another audience member, professor Vincent Curtis Hunter, who was visiting from Connecticut, exclaimed, “I was just blown away by it [the show],” adding “The color, the movements themselves—and it’s a direct hit, it’s not analytic. I can’t articulate why it’s hitting the buttons the way it does, but it hits the buttons, it moves you.”

“I was in tears twice during the first part,” Mr. Hunter said. “It just rattles you.”

He appreciated the spiritual aspect of Shen Yun noting that over the 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture, many people and countless groups throughout the history of China “all discovered the transcendent in some way. They all quested for connection to divinity,” he said, adding, “This is theology encapsulated.”

“[It] is fundamental. It’s wonderful,” Mr. Hunter said.

Shen Yun “Beautifully Done,” Says Scholar

Vicki Barkley and Hal Barkley attend Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Winspear Opera House in Dallas on Jan. 3. (Hannah Cai/The Epoch Times)

  (Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times.)

Vicki Barkley and Hal Barkley attend Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Winspear Opera House in Dallas on Jan. 3.

Dr. Hal Barkley, a scholar and director of the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development at Southern Methodist University, attended the show accompanied by his wife.

“We enjoyed it immensely! It was beautifully done,” Dr. Barkley said.

His wife, Vicki, an art teacher, said that she thoroughly enjoyed the refreshing “mixture of technology and fabulous costume design intertwined with what you would expect—the music and dance.”

“I was expecting something more sedate and it was very exciting to watch!” she explained.

“I would come back again. It was great,” she said.

The suppression of spiritual belief in China was also depicted in a few dance sets, which Mrs. Barkley thought were “very interesting and enlightening.”

“There is a great deal of [Chinese] history and art and artistic expression that was lost, and that’s unfortunate,” said Dr. Barkley.

The Whole Experience Was Magical!” Says Teacher

Also attending the show was Ryan Timmons, a middle and high school teacher, who brought his wife Rebecca to the show.

Mrs. Timmons said the performance was “visually stunning and the costumes were extraordinarily beautiful.”

Mr. Timmons talked about how the costumes and choreography complimented each other.

“I like how the costumes were part of the dancing, like the sleeves and the scarves. It was really amazing that they could use that to tell the stories that they were trying to do with the dance,” he said.

Mrs. Timmons agreed. “It gave me an appreciation for how complex the Chinese culture is and how many years the civilization has been around. It was very humbling.

“Everything was just synchronized so beautifully and they made it look effortless, just the way they were dancing.”

Mr. Timmons liked the blending of Western and Eastern culture, noting “The different instruments were neat to hear and see.”

“Looking down [from where we were seated] and seeing the instruments being played—the gong and the percussion and everything—it was great,” Mrs. Timmons exclaimed.

Mrs. Timmons concluded, “It was just a masterpiece. The costumes were so stunning and the dancing was just so beautiful.

“The whole experience was magical!”

Everything Is Inspiration” Says Singer Josey Contreras

Singer Josey Contreras shed tears at the Shen Yun Performing Arts show, saying, “It was just beautiful, mesmerizing. It stirred beautiful emotions in me.”

Ms. Contreras continued. “I probably cried a couple of times because of how beautiful just the music is, and the lyrics as well, even though it was sung in Chinese. It was beautiful, beautiful. You could still feel the emotion.”

The solo vocalists perform original compositions in bel canto style, in Chinese, with the words projected on a digital backdrop in both Chinese and English.

“I think it tells me about life, a deeper meaning of it,” Ms. Contreras said of the lyrics, “And I think that’s what’s beautiful, is that Shen Yun brings that deeper meaning into life. It questions it and it questions why are we here, why do we do things when there is something bigger and beyond.”

The singer especially enjoyed the dance set, Sewing the Flowers of Heaven, which she said “truly showed a part of heaven—just a part of heaven.”

“Everything is inspiration, it is just so beautiful, and it was my first time, so I’m definitely coming back next year,” Ms. Contreras concluded.

Shen Yun “Very Touching,” Says Artist

Laurie Brown attended Shen Yun Performing Arts in Dallas at the Winspear Opera House with her family on Jan. 2. (Sally Sun/The Epoch Times)

 (Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times.)
Laurie Brown attended Shen Yun Performing Arts in Dallas at the Winspear Opera House with her family on Jan. 2.

Ms. Laurie Brown, an artist, jewelry designer, and perfume maker, described Shen Yun as “Artistically, the integrity was beautiful.”

Ms. Brown, who had majored in theater, said “The composition of the stage was beautiful,” adding, “I thought the show was visually beautiful, I thought that the talent was there, the dancers were really good.”

Ms. Brown was mesmerized by the costumes, saying, they “were beautiful!”

She talked about how the “star speckled” skirts of the female dancers in the dance set Phoenix Fairies, caught her attention.

“I love the way the color variegated on the clothes, where it was darker on the bottom and went lighter, lighter, lighter, and the combination of sparkles—the sparkles on the back with the straightness of the skirt. It was beautiful visually when they were moving. They really caught the light well.”

Ms. Brown was very touched by the performance, An Unexpected Encounter, in which tourists visiting China stumble upon the persecution of the spiritual faith Falun Dafa. The spiritual practice, like other things embedded with traditional Chinese values, is not permitted under China’s current regime.

“I almost cried, because it was very meaningful to me. It was very real,” Ms. Brown said. “I thought it told a very touching story of how the artists in [China] have to leave to express themselves.

“It says to me that the Chinese people are not the Chinese government,” adding, “It’s time for the people who are correct-thinking, with balance, honesty, truthfulness, responsibility, kindness, empathy—all of those things that I believe in.”