WASHINGTON—Shen Yun Performing Arts returned to the nation’s capital at the Kennedy Center for the seventh time by providing classical Chinese dance and Chinese cultural history through its legends and myths. The show draws its inspiration from China’s 5,000 years of civilization.
“I felt like it was a cultural immersion into the ancient Chinese culture, and it was beautiful,” said Girard Griggs, who said he is a scientist working for the government.
Mr. Griggs explained that he admired the show’s pursuit of tradition and its spiritual aspect.
“The quest of that is inspiring to me,” he said.
Mr. Griggs summarized his overall impression of the performance as “attention to detail, honor of history, respect of religion, and a message of overcoming oppression.”
Another audience member, Anna, who is an economist working for the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said she felt most drawn to the cultural aspect of the show, as well as the spiritual aspect.
“I’m enjoying the spiritual aspects. I’m enjoying the Chinese culture,” she said.
“It’s very peaceful, very spiritual. Respect for humans, respect for nature,” she said. “I really was very happy to see that.”
Anna was also impressed by the Shen Yun Orchestra, which combines classical Western instruments with traditional Chinese instruments, as well as Shen Yun’s award-winning vocalists.
“The traditional music especially, and tenor and the soprano who sang had incredible voices. I was very moved—I was very touched.”
Like Mr. Griggs, who said he wanted to “discover more about China,” Anna said she feels the need to replace her negatively imbedded version of China with one more true to China’s traditional roots.
“I know very little about China, so what I know about China is today’s China—the Communist China, the oppressive part of China—not the positive aspect.”
“I want to learn more,” she continued. “I realize that it’s a complex and long history, and I should know more about the Chinese culture in a deeper way.”
Anna concluded that the modern-day China could benefit from a change for the positive. “I hope and pray that there will be a spiritual revival in China,” she said.
With reporting by Gary Feuerberg
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun New York Company is performing in Washington D.C. at the Kennedy Center Opera House from Jan 30 -- Feb 3. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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