SAN JOSE, Calif.—“It is extremely, absolutely beautiful. I love everything. I enjoy every moment of this, ” said Ms. Nhung Do.
Seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts evoked deep feelings for Ms. Do, a private school teacher.
“If I have a chance, or if I someday (you never know life), if I become richer, I will sponsor Shen Yun for sure,” said Ms. Do after seeing the Jan. 5 performance at San Jose Center for the Performing Arts.
New York-based Shen Yun criss-crosses the globe reviving the 5,000 years of divinely inspired Chinese culture through artistic performance.
The cultural revival was, for Ms. Do, a profound education in how human beings are supposed to live.
“You learn from the show, and the show is beautiful—you are not watching for enjoyment, but you learn what they say, and what the culture tells you about being human,” she said.
Some hold the belief that the culture in China, or the “Celestial Empire,” was passed down through various dynasties by the divine.
“Chinese culture is thus known as ‘divinely inspired,’ and is the only culture in the world to have a continuous recorded history of 5,000 years,” says Shen Yun’s website. Innovations first developed by ancient China and adopted by Europe 700 years later included paper, the compass, and gunpowder. Only after the culture began deviating through the Qing Dynasty and the current period of more than 60 years of communist rule has China’s culture declined.
Ms. Do was inspired by the rich settings shown on the digital backdrops. She found meaning in the songs from the vocal performers.
“That’s why I like to see Shen Yun, after the show, I am [thinking] ‘I want to go heaven now, to visit heaven,’” she said.
One line in the song “Dafa Has Spread, Yet You Are Still Lost,” says “Don’t be blinded by money and riches.”
“I love the way they write the songs; I love the way they teach reality,” said Ms. Do. “They say money, money is not important, after you go you will be bare-handed. You cannot carry anything with you. That’s so beautiful.”
The original compositions in Shen Yun are “brimming with philosophical reflection about human life and deep layers of meaning,” according to the company’s website. “They traverse the boundaries of nation, race, and culture and have been fondly received and appreciated the world over. Some audience members even call Shen Yun’s songs ‘hymns.’”
Ms. Do, elaborating more on the messages she connected with in the performance, said that as human beings we should look forward, past our current lives, to what happens after our human lives end. At one point she contemplated why humans don’t “treat each other beautifully.”
After hearing two songs from the tenor, Ms. Do said she almost cried. “That’s so meaningful—I just love it,” she said.
Overall, after seeing Shen Yun a second time, Ms. Do said the performance was an amazing experience.
“Beautiful, beautiful,” she said. “I enjoy it very much.”
Reporting by Mark Cao and Zachary Stieber