As part of its 2010 World Tour, the New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts Company completed five shows at the Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, in Los Angles, California, on July 8th-11th, 2010.
|Mr. Mercedes brought his Chinese friend, Mr. Lu, to celebrate his 98th birthday|
Jon Mercedes, a renowned writer and film producer, was one of the many distinguished guests attending the Shen Yun show. He took along his Chinese friend, Mr. Lu, to celebrate his 98th birthday, and Mr. Lu's daughter, Joycelyn Lu.
During an interview after the show, he excitedly exclaimed, "First of all, it was the best show that I've ever seen! It covered five thousand years of culture of this wonderful country, China. I was amazed at the precision and the excellence of the dancers, the singers, and everybody in the show. Also the costumes, they were so beautiful. It was fantastic!"
"I would love to see it again, two or three times, but I understand that it is leaving tomorrow," he added.
Mr. Mercedes said that as a result of being involved with Hollywood show business since 1968, he had seen "hundreds of shows."
"The production values were excellent, excellent, excellent! The artists were wonderful, and [so was] the way they did it with the background and the translation," said Mr. Mercedes.
Mr. Mercedes' makes his allure of Chinese culture known when he explains that he is "very, very much interested," in it.
He is currently working on three film projects that he plans on shooting in China.
Mr. Mercedes found the Shen Yun orchestra music so enjoyable that he wished that he could listen to it at home. "Very peaceful, very peaceful. I would love to have a recording of the music," he said.
"I think that you could be at home, listening to the music, drinking tea, and it would be very soothing and peaceful for your mind. I think it would relieve stress and cure people from illnesses," added Mr. Mercedes.
In fact, the traditional Chinese character for medicine (Yao) includes the Chinese character of music (Yue). In ancient China it was believed that music can cure illness.
Mr. Mercedes discovered the healing power of music when his late wife was told that she had two weeks to live. In fact, he was able to keep his wife alive for three years and six weeks by having her listen to classical music and other peaceful music.
Then Mr. Mercedes talked about how listening to Shen Yun's music had positively affected his own health.
"I assure you that it made me feel much, much better. When I came here, I was not feeling well. I have a lot more energy, now."
He also noted that the orchestra's music had a similar effect on his friend, Mr. Lu. "He was the same way. When he came in, he was walking very slow. When he came out, he was walking very fast."
Mr. Mercedes also appreciated the fact that Shen Yun is a show that is suitable for Chinese and Westerners alike. In fact, most of the people in the audience were Westerners.
When asked if he would recommend the show to others, he replied, "I would recommend this show to anybody! It doesn't matter if they are Chinese, Mexican, African American, or white, I recommend it to everybody because it is a show about the human condition and human values."
And, "every aspect of the show I loved," added Mr. Mercedes.
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