NEWARK, N.J.—The use of classical Chinese dance to revive ancient legends captivated Susan Popplewell, a Wall Street trader, when she saw Shen Yun Performing Arts at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center on Saturday afternoon.
“I think the way they interpret stories through dance was pretty fascinating,” she said. Classical Chinese dance developed over thousands of years. It is a fitting medium for bringing 5,000 years of diverse Chinese culture to the stage, says the Shen Yun website.
“It’s great choreography,” Mrs. Popplewell said.
She and her husband, business owner Jeff Popplewell, pondered the spiritual elements of the Chinese culture presented by the New York-based company.
Shaped by the principles of Buddhism, Daoism, and Confucianism, Chinese culture is believed to be divinely inspired.
According to the Shen Yun website: “Humanity’s treasure was nearly lost, but through breathtaking music and dance, Shen Yun is bringing back this glorious culture.”
Shen Yun cannot be seen in China today though it travels the world bringing Chinese culture to others. Its website explains: “Since the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] is officially an atheist regime, it is afraid of the freedom of expression this arts company enjoys in the West.”
Retired financial consultant Jeff Mark attended the same performance, and said: “I think the culture is so magnificent and beautiful—that the Chinese people can’t even share it in their own country is sad.”
He was touched by the modern tales, presented along with the ancient legends, of restricted life in China under the communist regime. But he saw the uplifting effect of Shen Yun and the hope it presents.
“The dance is incredible. The choreography is gorgeous,” he said. He loved the water sleeves—long, silk sleeves that flow and move with the dancers. He described the sleeves as soft, gentle, and nice.
“I told my daughter I’m a sucker sometimes. When something very much touches me, I cry a little bit,” Mr. Mark said. “This is one of the performances that did that to me.” He described his tears as “happy tears.”
“You walk out, big smile on your face.”
Reporting by NTD Television, Gloria Gao, and Tara MacIsaac
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.