MESA, Ariz.—Award-winning writer Leslie Householder and her husband Trevan saw Shen Yun for the first time at Ikeda Theater on Valentine’s Day, Feb.14. The couple was amazed by the inner beauty and talent of the performers.
“It was beautiful and very modest. There was a lot of joy—the expression of their faith and their dedication to excellence,” Mrs. Householder said.
I was amazed by how Western it sounded to me even with the Chinese instruments in it. It felt like Western music with a Chinese flare.
She was also fascinated by Shen Yun’s live orchestra. “I was amazed by how Western it sounded to me even with the Chinese instruments in it. It felt like Western music with a Chinese flare.”
According to its website, Shen Yun’s pioneering compositions seamlessly combine the best of both worlds by using a classic Western ensemble as a foundation while highlighting traditional Chinese instruments such as the two-stringed erhu and the pipa.
It is the first orchestra in the world to permanently combine Western and Chinese instruments.
While speaking of the company’s mission to revive traditional culture, Mrs. Householder said “it was wonderful to learn more about [Chinese] culture and understand more about [its] spirituality and history.”
The ancient Chinese believed that their civilization was a gift from the divine. By respecting the heavens and upholding strict moral values, China and its people prospered for millenniums.
However, since the communist party’s violent 1949 takeover, this traditional culture has faced destruction. Even today, countless Chinese people are being persecuted for their faith.
In 2006, Shen Yun Performing Arts was established in New York by artists who dreamt of bringing back China’s 5,000 years of divinely inspired culture.
Through a series of ethnic, folk, and storyline dances, Shen Yun is rediscovering the lost beauty of pre-communist China.
Mrs. Householder, whose book about faith had been published in China, said she appreciated Shen Yun’s effort in helping people to “understand that there is conflict in China—[where] people who want to have faith are not allowed.”
For its insistence on speaking the truth, the Shen Yun is currently banned by the communist party from performing in China.
On her part, Mrs. Householder resonated deeply with the show’s spiritual message and believed that everyone should “have the freedom to choose a life of joy and to follow the plan of the Creator.”
“[Shen Yun’s ideas] are very similar to my beliefs—a universal belief that we can turn our hearts to God and trust in him to protect us,” she said.
Reporting by Mary Mann and Jennifer Tseng.
The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of Shen Yun Performing Arts. We have covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.