Shen Yun’s Insight Into All Cultures
HOUSTON—Houston’s Jones Hall for the Performing Arts again played host to Shen Yun Performing Arts on Dec. 26. In the audience was Mr. Pedro Garcia, a history teacher, who saw the performance with Jose Luis Contreras and Tania Contreras.
“That’s a very good performance,” Mr. Garcia said. “That’s amazing, cultural, that we can see this show. Very grateful.”
“For 5,000 years divine culture flourished in the land of China,” reads Shen Yun’s website. “Humanity’s treasure was nearly lost, but through breathtaking music and dance, Shen Yun is bringing back this glorious culture.”
“Very educational, that we can learn about another culture,” Mr. Garcia added.
Ms. Contreras, a math teacher, said that she was amazed by the variety of costumes and colors. “The colors of the costumes was great, and the dancing,” she said.
“It was very unique,” added Mr. Conteras, a professor at the University of Houston.
Mr. Contreras said that what stood out to him most was “the evolution of a culture, the dances, the songs, the many symbols, many signs, maybe the meditation, the beliefs, the people.”
Shen Yun seeks to revive traditional Chinese culture through the universal language of music and dance. According to its website: “With state-of-the-art graphics technology, Shen Yun’s digital-backdrop team creates vividly animated settings, extending the stage and transporting the audience to a world where heaven and earth are one.”
Ms. Contreras said she really enjoyed the aspect of the digital backdrop and the way the dancers interacted with it. “I liked the join of the screen,” she said. “And after that the dancing, and it’s very spiritual.”
Summarizing his experience, Mr. Garcia concluded that “Well, it was about goodness, being happy, [and] enjoying people around you.”
The Morality and Spirituality Embedded in all People
Also in the audience was Richard Hill, an importer, and Elaine Kidd, the owner and president of MEK Floors.
“Very interesting. Haven’t seen anything like that at all,” said Mr. Hill.
“It was nice to have an insight into the culture,” added Ms. Kidd. “The real culture and not just what you think you know. It was nice.”
Another aspect that Ms. Kidd took away from the performance was that Shen Yun cannot be seen in China today, where traditional culture has been nearly lost. “I thought China was pretty open, that they could practice and do whatever they wanted,” she said. “But evidently that’s not true.”
Mr. Hill agreed, saying that he wasn’t aware of just how oppressive the Chinese regime is, but that “it’s nice to know what was happening.”
Overall, Ms. Kidd said that what she most grasped from the performance was the universal truths running through all cultures. “People need to care about each other, and understand each other, and not judge each other,” she said. “It has to come from humanity, and I think that’s shared by most cultures.”
Adding: “It doesn’t matter where you come from.”
“Its all the same thing, but portrayed differently,” Mr. Hill agreed.
However, as far as what the future holds, Ms. Kidd said that through Shen Yun, she senses a possible direction for China. “China should be striving for going back to the morality and the spirituality that is embedded in all people,” she said. “It doesn’t matter, and you cant stop that by oppressing it.”
Reporting by Teresa Luo and Michael Fitzgerald
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.