CHICAGO—“This is our first time seeing it and we were very happy to see the shared ideas, if you will, or history, between different cultures,” said Dr. George Elias after seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Civic Opera House.
By shared cultures, Dr. Elias was referring to the spirituality he saw onstage.
Dr. Elias is an Orthopedic Surgeon from Chicago. He came to Shen Yun’s final performance in the Windy City this season on the evening of April 5.
New York-based Shen Yun has four dance companies that tour the world. Its mission is to bring back to life traditional Chinese culture through the performing arts. Classical Chinese dance is at the heart of Shen Yun, but it also brings together ethnic and folk dances, orchestral music, and colorful pageantry.
Shen Yun’s program is comprised of 20 or so mini-dramas that portray scenes from China’s rich 5,000 year history, or retell fables, myths, and legends from Chinese literature.
“We’re very surprised, first of all very happy, to see that America offers an opportunity for Chinese people from all around the world for artistic to get together, to give them the freedom to preserve” this high-class art, continued Dr. Elias.
Unfortunately, Shen Yun does not have the freedom to perform in mainland China. Since the communist regime seized control 1949, it has forsaken its ancient culture and heritage, including morals and values that stem from deeply rooted spirituality.
“The issues are pertaining to divinity, and spirituality, and it was very striking. We were confused for a while because we thought: ‘How could you possibly present this in the environment in China?’ Dr. Elias explained. “And then the presenter explained that to us [that it couldn’t], so we were happy to see this very colorful and very talented group.”
“There is discipline,” he said. “The warrior dance is mainly [the one] in which I basically appreciated the discipline because I have a military background, as well. But really the choreography of the dance of putting so many people together,… is really breathtaking!”
Reporting by Stacey Tang and Paul Darin
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.