HOUSTON—From the moment the curtain went up at the Jones Hall on the afternoon of Dec. 23, Michael Menchaca knew he was witnessing an exceptional performance.
“I felt color, and my heart just sprang out. I said this is so genuine, loving, and pure and it was very nice,” said Mr. Menchaca, who works for an oil and gas company in town as a damage prevention manager.
“It just made my heart get away from the world outside and see what we have to look forward to,” he said.
He owes the experience to his friend, retired teacher, Livia Guajardo who had a wish: “It’s because of her that we’re here, because she wanted to come real bad. This is her Christmas present from me,” said Mr. Menchaca.
They both enjoyed the performance of Shen Yun, a world-renowned classical Chines dance and music company based in New York. Mr. Menchaca reflected on the ancient Chinese virtues and principles in the performance, which presents China’s divinely inspired culture, and elaborated on how the performance uplifted his spirit.
“My soul is wonderful, it just rekindled … the world is so mean now, [the performance] rekindled my spirit of knowing that this life is nothing—the afterlife to heaven is the ultimate and this play showed me that this is life afterward,” he said.
The revival of China’s divinely inspired ancient culture has been the mission of Shen Yun Performing Arts since its establishment in 2006. As the company mentions on its website, Shen Yun dances are more than just sophisticated dance techniques, beautiful costumes, and unique musical performances.
“Mortals and divine beings merge on stage as one,” according to the company’s website. The performance showcases through its different pieces principles from traditional Chinese culture such as benevolence and justice, propriety and wisdom, respect for the heavens, and divine retribution.
“I very much believe in God and heaven, and this really made it solid, you know, because you don’t see God; you see destruction and hate, and [then] you see a play like this, it’s just very nice,” said Mr. Menchaca.
Reflecting further on the themes he saw in the performance, he said, “There is a heaven and that we will be there one day, and we come from heaven, and we will go back to our home one day.”
The theme of good triumphing over evil also stood out for Mr. Menchaca, particularly after seeing the dance performance “Hope for the Future,” which revisits an ancient belief that we all came from the heavens and by becoming good we can find our way back home.
“Good overcomes evil, always. It’s always been in my heart,” he said.
He also noted that songs and the lyrics were wonderful and liked the fact that although the singers sang in Chinese the lyrics were projected onto the digital backdrops in English so that the audience can understand.
The vocalists are an integral part of the Shen Yun experience, singing Chinese lyrics with profound inner meanings using the bel canto style.
The two friends were visibly elated to have seen Shen Yun and Mr. Menchaca concluded his impressions of the show by saying: “I always knew that there was good above evil. Always.”
Reporting by Sherry Dong and Kati Vereshaka
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit Shen Yun Performing Arts.
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.