DETROIT—Two brothers, 12 and 11, drove with their family almost two hours to see Shen Yun Performing Arts International Company, “and it was completely worth it. I think many young people should actually see this,” said the older brother, Marcus Godraili.
The two saw the opening night performance of New York-based Shen Yun at the Detroit Opera House on Feb. 5. The performance runs in Detroit through Feb. 8.
Shen Yun brings pageantry and spectacle to the stage in the form of traditional Chinese music and dance, but this beauty envelops deep values embedded in China’s 5,000 years of civilization. These are expressed, too.
Through the medium of classical Chinese dance, legends from ancient China as well as heroic stories from current times are told.
“My general impression is, … a lot of people, if they have a deep understanding of the stories told throughout the show, … they will get a good understanding of what’s happening over there and how important it is that [Shen Yun] spread the message through the show,” Marcus said.
Marcus was referring to some particular story-dances that depict the suppression in China of Falun Gong, a group that practices truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.
Explaining one dance, Marcus said Falun Gong practitioners “believed in, basically, the creator that blessed this world with the great culture that happened 5,000 years ago. And then, they had these men dressed in black with the communist symbol—basically the symbol for communism on their back—and it was actually a pretty good representation of what is going on there.”
These men in black attacked the peaceful practitioners.
Marcus explained that it was important for Falun Gong “to have the freedom to express these ideals to the outside world.”
“It’s kind of sad because China is a beautiful place,” he said, but he thought Shen Yun found a great way to express not only what is going on in China,” but opinions and ideals for people to think deeply [about] and form their own opinions,” he said.
“All around, it was a great show. And not only for the commentary on current events, but also the general entertainment,” he said.
“The show was amazing,” Marcus said.
Younger brother Alex had said that same thing. In fact he had also called it amazing. He loved the technically demanding aerial flips, leaps, and spins, which are one component of classical Chinese dance.
“I loved how they were just dancing out there,” said Alex who had seen one ballet performance before, but “it was nothing, nothing like this one.”
Both brothers were interested to learn that acrobatics originated from classical Chinese dance.
Marcus absolutely loved the spectacle and the effects—those being Shen Yun’s digitally animated backdrop that interacts with the dancers to create a dynamic performance.
Reporting by Ying Wan and Sharon Kilarski
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.
Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reaction since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006