MEMPHIS, Tenn.—Jeff Krida and his wife Rebecca found Shen Yun both beautiful and enlightening. They saw the performance for the first time on Jan. 5.
Mr. Krida, who is co-founder and vice chairman for the American Queen Steamboat Company, said, “Their dancing skills are beautiful and marvelous. The costumes are beautiful. The music is beautiful. They were very, very good performers. It’s a wonderful show.”
“I loved it. It’s wonderful, and I learned things that I didn’t know,” his wife said. “So it’s been terrific.”
One thing Mr. and Mrs. Krida didn’t know until they experienced Shen Yun, is that the company is based in New York.
Mrs. Krida said she knew about the beauty of classical Chinese dance, but assumed that the company came from China. “I thought these were Chinese dancers. I didn’t realize that there was more to this; it’s my fault for not investigating, and it makes it even more interesting.”
According to the Shen Yun website, “In today’s China the CCP may sponsor performances or exhibits that superficially depict traditional costumes or legends, but the underlying essence is gone.”
That underlying essence entails reverence for the divine. “Since belief in the divine is so central to Chinese culture, omitting it from the arts means not doing justice to its full glory and magnificence,” reads the website. “It is this lost tradition, with all its profound inner meaning, that Shen Yun aims to revive.”
Mr. Krida, like his wife, assumed that Shen Yun came from mainland China, and said, “That’s true, me too.” He had not known about Shen Yun’s mission to revive their authentic culture. He also was not aware of the “Chinese people that have already moved from the country and are bringing this art form back. So it’s an education for us as well as a performance,” he said.
The entire performance gave him a sense of wonder and pleasure. “I enjoyed it very much,” he said. “It was very beautiful, and I felt like we learned something about the message that they were communicating.”
Mrs. Krida had a poetic response to the spirituality portrayed by Shen Yun.
She said, ”You know what I was thinking about is, particularly as an American, we’re so loud most of the time, and this was such a silent beauty. The silence was quite impressive, actually, quite loud in my head because it was so silent, and powerful, and very beautiful.”
She expressed another deeper understanding, most elegantly: “I think being a spiritual person is really important. We have a birth and we have a death, and the spirituality goes along with what’s in between.
“And to have an experience of silence, and beauty, and spirituality all together is really very impressive and greatly appreciated. As Americans, that calms us.”
With reporting by Teresa You and Mary Silver
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.