SPARTANBURG, S.C.—Noah and Nicole Stratton attended Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium on March 26.
Mr. Stratton, an executive director at The Academy of Arts Ministry, said he loved the storytelling.
“My wife and I run a drama program and drama ministry, and so we love the power of storytelling,” he said. “We’re the directors for a theatre in South Carolina, so we love the power of storytelling, and dance and music, and it is combined just beautifully here.”
Mrs. Stratton, the artistic director at The Academy of Arts Logos Theatre, said she loved Shen Yun’s bold message that she said was also her truth.
“I would say what touched me the most was how bold[ly] you are to telling truth: that truth and beauty all come from God,” she said, adding, “It is absolutely stunning visuals: the composition, the choreography … Everything is not just for a show, it is a message, a message of truth and beauty, and honor and respect.
“It is so powerful and we love it—really, really love it.”
Based in New York, Shen Yun was founded in 2006 by leading Chinese artists and quickly became the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music company. Shen Yun’s mission is to revive the 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture.
“I want to affirm the boldness to share truth,” Mr. Stratton said. “Some hard truth for some people but good truth, and the courage and boldness to do that.
“We do that a lot with our productions, and so we love when other people are willing to step out and do something.”
Mrs. Stratton supported the need for Shen Yun. “I want to say, too, that the culture needs this show.
“Actually showing the beauty of men and women and their roles, and they are honoring one another. The culture needs to see this. So I am so grateful for it, and thank you. We are praying for the people in China who are going through that,” she said of the story telling of the persecution of Chinese in China who follow the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance as taught in their spiritual practice of Falun Dafa.
The Strattons said they share support for the values of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance. “Yes, Yes, Yes,” Mrs. Stratton said.
“Yes!” Mr. Stratton said. “It’s absolutely necessary because our modern culture is really devaluing those things. We are seeing what’s happening with families, and men and women, and everything that is going on. So it’s a huge and necessary thing that you are doing.”
“We are waiting for you to continue on. Thank you,” Mrs. Stratton said.
Mrs. Stratton expressed her appreciation to Shen Yun’s performers.
“Thank you so much for the sacrifice of their lives, and the discipline, and everything that’s represented here. It is absolutely stunning and it’s not in vain. All the work, all of the effort: Everything is not in vain because it’s impacting us, and it’s impacting our country of America who needs this so desperately. Don’t be discouraged because it’s making a huge difference.”
“We have to perform a lot,” Mr. Stratton said of the couple’s work directing the Academy of Arts Ministries. “And it’s very tiring. But the thing that keeps us going is the message because we can get tired of just doing a show, but the beauty behind doing this is that it’s for God. Because of what God has done in us, we get to share that with other people, and that’s what keeps us going. So I hope they feel the energy from us that we appreciate that, we see that, and I hope they don’t grow weary in doing this, but they keep on going.”
Mrs. Stratton was happy to have her mother, Sheryn Chavers, attend Shen Yun. “My father passed away two years ago. He’s in heaven with Jesus, and we’re just so grateful to be here celebrating with my mom. When we saw some of the beauty on stage, it reminded us of heaven and where my father is now.”
Mrs. Chavers said, “This is a beautiful, artistic, quality production, a picture of God’s loveliness and creation. Thank you for all your hard work. It takes discipline to do this and have a cause that’s bigger than yourself, and I praise God for this opportunity to share with you. And God bless you.”
Reporting by Yawen Hung and Yvonne Marcotte.
The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of Shen Yun Performing Arts. We have covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.