MINNEAPOLIS—Whether folks know much about China or not, whether they know much about Eastern philosophy and religion or not, Shen Yun Performing Arts seems to remind people that there are universal spiritual ideas that can still nourish and inspire.
Roz Dalsin had never studied nor been involved with Chinese culture, so the performance by the classical Chinese dance and music company showed her a whole other side to China. She hadn’t known the Chinese people were spiritual, for example.
Actually, China of the past was deeply spiritual and it’s Shen Yun Performing Arts’s mission to convey that authentic culture. The traditional culture was believed to be passed down to humans by gods.
Ms. Dalsin, who worked for her husband’s roofing company, felt that the one story-based dance that moved her most emotionally in the many of evening told a story about China today. Called “The Steadfast Heart,” a couple in it is persecuted for meditating and practicing their faith.
She felt this story revealed something common to all people since the beginning of time: “Adam decided to go against God—that’s the beginning and it’s been happening ever since.”
But Ms. Dalsin was not the only person in the audience at the Orpheum Theatre on Feb. 21 to see the spiritual elements in Shen Yun. John Marks teaches drama and meditation to middle school students in Minneapolis, and he was joined by his wife, Debora Roriz, a retired lawyer originally from Brazil.
Mr. Marks knew about China’s rich spiritual past that predated the Cultural Revolution, a campaign which sought to strip China of its traditional heritage.
He felt that Shen Yun’s mission to restore the culture was wonderful, and personally found the performance very nourishing and inspiring, since he is on his own spiritual path.
Ms. Roriz, as someone who thinks that God is always present in our lives, found beautiful messages in Shen Yun. She believes they were aimed at revealing our true purpose and how we connect with our own essence.
“It’s beautiful and it’s happy. I like all the colors and a beautiful message about life [that] make us think about … the purpose of life,” she said.
Richard Jones, in the audience as well, has studied Eastern philosophy quite a bit.
“I am a student of yoga, and I have studied Buddhism … ,” he said. The business owner imports lumber from around the world and attended with his daughter, Natalie, a social worker.
“I loved it. It was very peaceful. It was beautiful. The choreography was timeless, and I’d like to come back again,” he said.
For Mr. Jones, the production presented universal ideas also found in Christianity and Buddhism, and it resonated with him personally.
He felt it unfortunate that Shen Yun cannot appear in China, yet he gained comfort from the performance, saying, “No matter how oppressed people become—economically, sociologically, spiritually—they can come back to their home and comfort”—home in a spiritual sense.
Overall, he was inspired by the theme that the individual must search within to find answers and inner peace.
“Shen Yun did a very nice job of presenting in a very complicated concept, in a short period of time,” he said.
Reporting by Valerie Avore, Nancy Ma, and Sharon Kilarski
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.