DETROIT—For Amy and Katherine Parker, mother and daughter, seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Detroit Opera House on Friday night was a beautiful and poignant experience.
New York-based Shen Yun, the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music company, has set out to revive 5,000 years of divinely inspired culture. These spiritual traditions have been all but destroyed under 60-plus years of continuing communist rule. It is for this reason that the company cannot perform in China today.
“I think that the center and the message that really came across to me was that their country has been under oppression and is still oppressed,” Mrs. Amy Parker said.
Years ago, she traveled with a small performing group, as a musician and singer.
“I think that, as Americans, we tend to get landlocked and … we don’t really reach out sometimes and learn and see and understand what’s going on in other countries, in other cultures.
There are people seeking out God in many different ways, and it’s just a powerful message. I just don’t know what to say. It taught me that history is not just about history it’s about … everything.
“I think they did a very powerful presentation of giving us the history and the beauty of the culture. But the bittersweet part was definitely what you came away with also—what deep oppression and lack of freedom. … It was excellently done.
“It was startling how much it brought that very deeply into your psyche and emotions. It just made me realize the freedoms and the freedom of expression that we take for granted in this country, and they don’t have,” she said.
Her daughter, Katherine Parker, a ballet dancer with River Raisin Centre for the Arts in Monroe, Mich., had similar feelings: “I loved it! I just adored it. I think the message is very powerful.
“There are people seeking out God in many different ways, and it’s just a powerful message. I just don’t know what to say. It taught me that history is not just about history it’s about … everything.
“I loved the show; it was beautiful, it touched me. It touched my heart and soul.
“I was very amazed about how much oppression they were under. How much sadness. How they can’t even perform in their own country; it’s not just the story itself they’re talking about. It’s sad,” Miss Parker said.
Both said they would definitely recommend the show to their friends.
In fact, Mrs. Parker was so impressed that she plans to promote Shen Yun personally: “I’m going to pass out some flyers. I think it’s very enlightening. It’s very powerful on so many levels … the history part, the art form, the discipline of the dance itself.
“I think what drives them to perfection is that they have a message that they want to be heard and to be understood. It’s sort of like the deep dark secret that should be known,” she said.
Reporting by Valerie Avore and Sharon Kilarski.
Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company will perform at the Detroit Opera House through Jan. 27. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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