PERTH, Australia—A family of four teachers, Gwen Woodruff and her three daughters, left Shen Yun Performing Arts’s opening performance held at Perth’s Regal Theatre, feeling peaceful.
Shen Yun, the world’s premiere music and classical Chinese dance company, is based in New York. The company, which recently launched its 2016 World Tour, intends to revive 5,000 years of Chinese culture and history and share it with the world.
Many of the dance pieces tell stories and legends from ancient China. Each story-dance is complemented by the Shen Yun orchestra blending Eastern and Western classical instruments.
“From the music point of view, I was interested in the orchestra. I thought it was excellent,” said Mrs. Woodruff, a retired schoolteacher who has never quit teaching. The 85-year-old went from the school classroom to teaching music to children who couldn’t afford to learn. She now has 75 pupils enrolled.
After seeing Shen Yun, Mrs. Woodruff says she sensed “global unity” exuding through the production.
“I felt a kind of unity, almost a global unity … in China [that] matches up somewhat with the Christian attitude in other places, and what a wonderful place the world would be if everybody observed that and keep peace.”
A Gift From Heaven
Music teacher and professional musician Linda Eppinger received a gift “wrapped up from heaven, that came off the stage, through the audience, and I received it. It was for me,” she said.
“I feel like it’s touched my life and changed my life in a way that I will never forget.
“I think I am still opening it, I’ve only just taken the bow off and I know I have got the gift because I feel it here. It was humbly and purposely given to me. I wanted to know who was behind the show that’s given me this gift, ultimately, I think it is God.”
Ms. Eppinger said everything she had been brought up to believe had been affirmed by Shen Yun’s presentation.
At first, she wondered who was behind the production. But, overhearing the people around her talking, she realized they too were aware of the same truths that she felt and they connected.
“So we have to get back to that, the heavenly kingdom of God is where it is coming from, spreading that hope of goodness and light, which is God—love. I believe the people in that show were directly under the direct influence of God.”
‘I loved it all’
Her sister, Regina Crothers is the principal of the primary school where she teaches. She also studies interactive digital media, which she loves.
Ms. Crothers was most impressed with the soprano who sung Italian bel canto-opera style in Chinese. English subtitles appeared across the backdrop screen.
“It was about the divine will and mercy, and that’s very spiritual to me and it speaks volumes to where my spiritual life is at the moment,” she said.
She wanted to give a standing ovation but waited instead for the final curtain.
“So awesome and the finale … it was like all the good people, if you call them people, the spiritual people who came down, they were with the good—and the darkness disappeared. That really made an impact on me too.”
Like her siblings, Ms. Crothers agreed that dance and music was in her blood..
“That’s why I love the whole show of dancing and music. I loved it all, and I appreciate the cultural input.”
She had sensed Shen Yun was not just for the Chinese people, but for sharing with the world.
‘I feel so good in my heart’
Her sister, Pauline Doherty, a high schoolteacher at a Catholic school who is also studying for a Master’s degree in counseling, thought Shen Yun was amazing.
“It’s so colourful. The staging is very balanced, good use of technical lighting in the background. I loved the people coming down from above and then reforming on the stage.”
But, seeing a show come to Perth with a spiritual dimension was a positive shift from the usual degradation in the entertainment world.
“I feel so good in my heart … I feel hope for the world, renewed in myself. It’s lovely to see,” Ms. Doherty said. “I just feel the colours and the waving and flowing. It’s a very peaceful feeling.
“I very much believe in angels, but here I see them on the stage. There’s a whole bunch of people that know about this and it’s very, very affirming for my beliefs.”
Ms. Doherty has been left with a peaceful feeling from Shen Yun. “Confident, strong, positive, and ready to go on and do good things in the world,” she said. “That’s how I feel spiritually. It’s amazing.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Raiatea Tahana-Reese
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.
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.