BILLINGS, Mont.—Andy Landis-Halingstad, writer, former dancer, theater songwriter, and student mentor, attended Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Alberta Bair Theater on the afternoon of March 4 and said that Shen Yun was “stunning. It’s beautiful. It was spiritually uplifting.”
The name, “Shen Yun,” means “the beauty of divine beings dancing,” and Ms. Landis-Halingstad felt it the perfect name.
“It was very informative about what’s happening in the world. I felt like the title was perfect, about the beauty in the divine and the beauty in humanity. [It] really moved me a lot. I felt like it was very brave, fun, funny, joyous, and uplifting and, at the end, good triumphs over evil. I mean, it was wonderful. It was wonderful,” she said.
New York-based Shen Yun is the world’s premier classical Chinese dance company, using the ancient art form—famously expressive and one of the most comprehensive dance systems in the world—to tell stories spanning 5,000 years of civilization.
Ms. Landis-Halingstad was inspired.
“I’m most interested in making plays that move the human heart, fill the creative spirit and draw people towards one another. I want my plays to inspire truthful conversation and expose the depths and width of our human experiences,” she said.
She said it is important for people see something like Shen Yun nowadays.
“I think it’s important because I think that it told us about the Chinese tradition that we don’t understand, that we don’t know, you know, here in the States,” she said.
“We don’t understand a lot of that and everything that we’re learning is not necessarily helpful for us to understand. I mean, I love history, and so much of what we learned in the show, we didn’t know. And you also brought to the present some of the things that are happening in China that we really need to know about which was so brave. And I really appreciated you doing that. It was very brave.”
Ms. Landis-Halingstad described her feelings as she watched.
“I kind of got teary during a couple of the performances … [and it] still makes me tear up. It grieved me to see the suffering, and yet it uplifted me to see them overcoming.”
She said that “ancient history has the belief in life after death, and that was very well represented. The triumph of good over evil really moved me and uplifted me. So thank you for that.”
As a former professional dancer, Ms. Landis-Halingstad was impressed by the dancers.
“So, the dancing in here was unbelievable. The balance, the perfection, the unity, and the ways that they danced was stunning to me. The colors, the beauty. The way that the performers would jump off the stage and come up on the screen! That was just amazing. And the colors of the water and the flowers that you have in the show is just incredible.
“The dancers were just superb, every single one of them. I watched their faces and I was blown away by the joy that they—and they have to be tired by the end. I was thinking they had to be tired. But they were joyous. Yeah, they were amazing.”
The vocalists’s lyrics made an impact on her. “The songs that they sang, the lyrics of the songs, as someone who used to be a professional song writer, the lyrics were stunning. They were sacred, and divine, and the message of good overcoming evil was very, very clear in the lyrics. And I feel like everyone should see that, because of the hope it gave us.”
She hoped more people would see Shen Yun to learn more about traditional Chinese culture being divinely inspired. “I believe that. I think that’s important for us to know, for us to understand. And I appreciate so much what you’re doing and how you brought that to life for us. I wish everyone could see it. Really, it was great.”
Reported by NTD.
The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of Shen Yun Performing Arts. We have covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.