SARASOTA, Fla.—As a national sales director for Mary Kay Cosmetics, Kendra Cross was included in the company’s 10-day tour in China last fall. Mrs. Cross experienced a different China at Shen Yun’s April 23 performance at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.
“It was a little darker there than it is here,” Mrs. Cross said of her experience in China. “This [performance] was just so full of hope and so full of light.”
“I loved the way that [Shen Yun was] honest about what is happening, because when we were in China, we experienced just lack of information,” she said.
Two Shen Yun dances portray the universal theme of good versus evil through stories based on the Chinese regime’s suppression of Falun Dafa practitioners. Falun Dafa (also called Falun Gong) is a traditional spiritual practice of meditation, exercises, and moral self-improvement. Its core principles are truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance.
“Today was just so moving, so incredibly moving—loved it,” Mrs. Cross said. “I loved the storytelling.”
In Shen Yun, she saw a sense of community, which she found especially moving: It “played out in the dance and played out in the choreography.” “No one called attention to themselves,” she said of the performers.
“Very rarely was any one [dancer] singled out. I loved the fact that everyone was moving together. They were of one heart and of one mind and of one spirit. And we don’t see that as much in our culture. It’s just so moving. It was emotional to watch,” she said.
She loved the women in the dance Manchurian Grace, with their elevated “flower pot” shoes. She also loved “the masculinity of the drummers and the dancers.” “The men were so strong and so capable and so royal,” she said.
A New Appreciation
She brought a friend to see the performance so her friend could experience the culture too. “I think it’s just the first layer of the onion skin—to be able to unfold the beauty of this incredible culture and magnificent country,” she said.
Mrs. Cross described the performance as “touching, sobering, celebratory, hopeful.” She felt hopeful that the Chinese people haven’t lost their sense of identity.
Shen Yun’s mission is to revive 5,000 years of Chinese civilization through the performing arts. In China, the traditional culture has been nearly destroyed by decades of communist rule, which has sought to replace the traditional culture with communist ideology.
Mrs. Cross said she had a new appreciation of Chinese culture and felt Shen Yun is doing good work. “I just pray that [Shen Yun is] able to spread the good news across the entire world,” she said.
Reporting by NTD Television and Louise Rothman
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