DETROIT—Michelle Beckman emerged from the Detroit Opera House on Saturday, Jan. 22, with a renewed sense of empathy. She had just experienced the Shen Yun Performing Arts—a show that has touched the hearts of almost 2 million people around the world.
Ms. Beckman, chief of finance in a manufacturing company, spoke of a dance in the program entitled Our Story that left a lasting impression on her. In this dance a courageous teacher in a Chinese classroom tries to guide her students to be good and kind, teaching the traditional values of ancient China—Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance—precious virtues lost under the current Chinese Communist regime. The dance is inspired by the true story of a young teacher who was persecuted to death by the Chinese Communist Party for her belief in Falun Dafa, a traditional meditation practice.
“It touched me. I felt what they were going through. They did a wonderful job presenting it,” said Ms. Beckman.
The Shen Yun performing arts is the world's premier classical Chinese dance company, which seeks to restore traditional Chinese art forms through story-based dance. Shen Yun is known for its beautifully presented legends, elaborate silk costumes, and unprecedented efforts to revive the beauty and grandeur of ancient Chinese culture.
“It’s lovely. Absolutely lovely. I liked the way it’s presented," she says, “It’s very thoughtful.”
Ms. Beckman appreciated the efforts of the artists to present the ancient culture in a way that anyone, from any age or background can understand. Each dance is introduced by two emcees, who explain the context of the dance in both English and Chinese, enriching the experience for the audience.
“It’s different than I’d seen before with the introduction prior to the dance,” says Ms. Beckman.
Ms. Beckman will be taking beautiful memories with her after the show, “The costumes are wonderful. The colors are great. They’re very flowing, very feminine. It’s beautiful,” she said.
Reporting by NTD Television and Justina Wheale.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For dates in Detroit and Washington, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org