PORTLAND, Ore.—As president of the Native Arts & Cultures Foundation, Tara Arquette leads a mission to preserve generations of deep wisdom so as to leave future generations with roots “from which to draw life and hope,” as it states on the foundation’s website.
On Thursday evening at the Keller Auditorium, Ms. Arquette was heartened to see New York-based artists doing the same with the traditional Chinese culture by Shen Yun Performing Arts. She attended the performance with Lu Lytle, and the two felt treated to a night of 5,000 years of Chinese civilization.
“They are sharing their arts and culture in an entertaining fashion. They are opening up their culture to audiences worldwide. It is amazing and beautiful,” Ms. Arquette said.
“I thought it was fabulous and beautiful. The dancers, the colors of the show, the quality of the talent was exceptional,” she said.
Ms. Lytle added that she “just loved every bit of it.” She was overwhelmed with the perfection in the details.
The artists had “unbelievable talent” that shone through with each expertly tossed water sleeve or graceful step across the stage. “It just never ceased to amaze me,” she said.
And most touching aspect for Ms. Arquette was the fact that though Shen Yun’s artists cannot perform in China, they worked tirelessly to bring this culture to the world.
Ms. Arquette explained that she is familiar with Falun Gong, a spiritual practice that originated in and is currently persecuted in China. Under the communist regime, traditional beliefs and values have been all but uprooted, and thus spiritual practices like Falun Gong are banned and its practitioners are persecuted.
This topic was addressed in a story-based dance set in modern day China as, according to the website, many of Shen Yun’s artists are adherents of this practice. It teaches truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance, and had became popular in China in the 1990s because of the health benefits practitioners reported.
Ms. Arquette shared that she learned that in the past decade Shen Yun has grown from an idea to a four-company group that tours around the world, with an arts academy based in New York where artists hone their skills in music and dance.
“I would definitely recommend this to family and friends,” she said.
Reporting by Tim Gebhart and Catherine Yang
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.
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.