COLUMBUS, Ohio—”We were excited to hear about and enjoy the Chinese culture,” said Dr. Peter Somani after seeing seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Ohio Theater on April 16.
Peter Somani, M.D.,Ph.D., his wife Kamlesh, and their nephew, Dr. Piyush Gupta, came to Shen Yun’s second of two performances in Columbus on Wednesday evening.
Dr. Somani is a retired physician and professor of medicine and pharmacology. He was Ohio Director of Health from 1992-1997 and served on the Ohio State Medical Board from 1997-2003. Dr. Gupta is a physician currently.
Shen Yun aspires to revitalize the divinely inspired traditions and customs of China’s cultural heritage through the performing Arts. There are 20 or so mini dramas in a Shen Yun program that retell stories from China’s history, mythology, folklore, and literature.
“I think this show represents the culture of China very well, and we are very impressed by the coordination and the way they put it together, and the historical sequence when they started from 5,000 years ago, 2,000 years ago, 1,000 years ago to the modern suppression,” said Dr. Somani.
Dr. Somani commented, “We learned all the history [of] all the dynasties in China—beautiful dancers, beautiful expressions, facial, as well as the way they are performing in a coordinating fashion. It’s really, really nice.”
According to Shen Yun’s website, “Classical Chinese dance has a history of thousands of years, sharing a common ancestry with martial arts. Its dramatic jumping, spinning, and flipping techniques are just part of the vast repertoire of movements that make classical Chinese dance—one of the most demanding and expressive art forms in the world.”
“I was really amazed to see the religious persecution,” Dr. Gupta said. “And I was really amazed at the limitation of expression, freedom. … They could not do these things in China, and I was amazed to see how much suppression and persecution of religion [there is]. I was really, really hurt to see that.”
Since the communist regime seized control of China in 1949, it has maintained a nationwide campaign to squash out most of China’s ancient traditions including many spiritual practices. This has led to large-scale persecution and genocide of the spiritual practice Falun Dafa.
If Dr. Gupta could send a message to those being persecuted, he would say, “They have to keep their faith. They have to practice, and they should come together. They should come together and raise awareness about these issues in the international community.”
“I was really impressed, how this performing arts group, Shen Yun, is raising awareness,” Dr. Gupta explained. “For me, it was really an eye opener that this beautiful, pristine, historic culture and simplicity is being trampled upon.”
“I just hope that [there is] more awareness, more international action about it, and [the] United Nations take it up” he added.
“We definitely would recommend this to come watch and enjoy,” Dr. Somani said ultimately.
Reporting by Valorie Avore and Andrew 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.