WASHINGTON—Despite a seemingly relentless snow blizzard, Cynthia Helsinger, a manager and public affairs officer for the U.S. Navy, was among the audience watching Shen Yun Performing Arts’ opening performance on Jan. 21 at the Kennedy Center Opera House.
Opened in 1971, the venue has been a popular and well-known performing arts facility not just for Washingtonians, but for Americans nationwide.
Ms. Helsinger enjoyed the Shen Yun performance of classical Chinese dance and music, and said that she would watch it again next year, although she hoped that “there won’t be a storm next year.”
She said that she will tell others she knows or encounters that Shen Yun brings to its audiences “spiritual tradition, historical tradition, a cultural tradition, the skill of dance and music, and a combination of East and West, which is something you have to see to enjoy.”
Her heart was deeply touched by the “tradition of the divine,” and the “concept of truth, compassion, and forbearance,” illustrated in the performance. She added that she found these elements amazing.
The Shen Yun website tells its readers, that, “over its past 60 years of rule, the communist regime has treated traditional Chinese values—centered on the idea of harmony between heaven and earth—as a threat to its existence.” Based in New York, Shen Yun aims to restore these traditions.
“With the culture of including so many different parts of China, I got to see Mongolian and Manchurian [ethnic groups], and the Tang Dynasty, and I was thinking how long the Tang Dynasty lasted.”
She added that the Tang Dynasty “lasted longer than the entire time the United States has been a country.”
“That really puts things in perspective—and that’s just one part of the culture in Shen Yun. So I was quite impressed,” she said.
She added that she was amazed by Shen Yun dancers’ skill in dance and tumbling.
She continued that each dancer “could be a solo artist.”
“The company is amazing and well trained. The timing in the choreographed group pieces—I kept looking—they were all in time.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Heide B. Malhotra
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.