SAN ANTONIO, Texas—“It was exquisite, it was so very beautiful, all of the elements,” exclaimed Dr. Dorothy Haecker, Professor of Philosophy and Program Advisor for Palo Alto college in San Antonio, after watching Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Lila Cockrell Theatre on May 4.
An extraordinary journey across 5,000 years of Chinese civilization! With classical Chinese dance, live orchestra, dazzling costumes and animated backdrops, Shen Yun will transport you to another world, the company website explains.
“The extraordinary orchestra, the blending of Eastern and Western instruments, the dance, the background, and so much the fact that it’s a blend of storytelling, and the music and dance, and visual arts, and costuming, it’s just breathtaking,” said Ms. Haecker.
Lotuse Fairies is a dreamlike piece. The lotus rises above all flowers to emerge high amidst the clouds where dancers holding long silken fans glide across the stage like celestial fairies in flight.
“I think the image that I will remember the most, is the lotus in the mist of fogs, and the women rising out,” said Ms. Haecker.
Ms. Haecker was touched by another piece titled The Steadfast Lotus where a mother gives her daughter a beautiful banner decorated with a lotus flower and three words that form the tenets of their faith: “Truth, Compassion, Tolerance.” This perfect moment is shattered when Communist Party police arrive to take the mother away.
“Also that moment of mother and daughter, the mother/daughter defending one another, and caring for one another, and keeping hopeful for one another.
“Certainly this performance, the value of truth, compassion, and tolerance are values that I think we would all like to have more of in our society. We’re far from having enough but those three words really embody the best in human beings,” said Ms. Haecker.
According to the Shen Yun website, Chinese traditional culture was nourished by principles derived from Buddhism and Daoism such as compassion and justice, propriety and wisdom, respect for the heavens, and divine retribution.
“I think it’s very helpful for western audience to understand something about Buddhism and Daoism, to understand something about the connection between heaven, earth, and humanity, that’s a very profound idea, one easily lost,” said Ms. Haecker. She adding that she will tell her friends to come. She said she will tell them, “You will enjoy it deeply.”
Patrick Jenkins, a student at Palo Alto college, had seen Shen Yun before and brought Ms. Haecker along to see this performance.
“This is my second time seeing it. It was beyond words. The only word I can think of is ‘exquisite’.
“[Shn Yun] really combines together Chinese culture with dance, and for me that’s very important,” said Mr. Jenkins.
“I think as a world we should come together and learn more about each other … I think things like this should be taught more in school because I feel like the more we can learn about each other the closer in harmony we can get.”
Under the last 60 years of atheist communist rule, this divinely inspired culture has been almost completely destroyed. That is why you cannot see a performance like Shen Yun in China today, says the website.
“The spiritual aspect is astonishing, it’s unbelievable that you can take these people and give them just the hardest time and they will still come out positive.
“What you have to deal with in China in regard to people thrown down [for] what you believe in is very hard on the spirit. But the fact that people can still persevere in spite of these odds is inspiring,” he said.
“Definitely come and see it. I mean, it’s an awe-inspiring adventure.”
Reporting by Stacy Chen and Christine Ford
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.