EVANSVILLE, Ind.—“I like the exposure to the culture, the history,” said Jim Michaels after seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts on Jan. 28 at the Aiken Theatre at The Centre with his wife, Barbara.
The New York-based Shen Yun brings 5,000 years of Chinese civilization to the world, through classically trained dancers, award-winning singers, and a full orchestra comprised of both Eastern and Western instruments.
Some of the dances depict Chinese legends and myths, while others tell of ancient or modern times.
In speaking of the some of the spiritual roots of some of the dances, Mrs. Michaels said: “There is some magic with the spirituality here, I think, and it’s effective. I liked it.” Mrs. Michaels is a medical writer for Fire and Rain, a training program for doctors and nurses.
“It’s interesting that [Shen Yun] is based in New York, though, and not in China,” Mrs. Michaels said, referring to the fact that Shen Yun is not allowed to perform in China.
“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,” according to Shen Yun’s website. “And in its systematic campaigns like the Cultural Revolution, it has uprooted traditional beliefs and destroyed ancient treasures, bringing traditional 5,000 years of civilization to the brink of extinction.”
Shen Yun is “almost counterculture to what’s going on in China,” Mr. Michaels added. Mr. Michaels is currently the director of sales with the Evansville Courier. Formerly, he was a reporter and entertainment editor with the Courier.
Although he knew that spirituality was basic to the Chinese culture, Mr. Michaels hadn’t realized that repression is still a fact of life in China. He thought had China had loosened up its hold on the people in recent times, but through Shen Yun he realized more consciously that this is not so.
Mr. Michaels plans to encourage one of his colleagues to attend the performance as well: “I have a coworker who has two Chinese adopted children—male and female. He couldn’t make it tonight, and I’m going to really strongly encourage him to try to get here tomorrow night because I think it would be valuable for them to experience.”
As a final note, Mr. Michaels said: “It’s been a very pleasant surprise. I thought it would be very colorful. I thought it would be well done. It’s really exceeded my expectations, I really enjoyed it.”
With reporting by Hu Chen 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.
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.