SAN JOSE, Calif.—Once in a blue moon, an artistic experience is so powerful, so transformative that it makes you feel like a new person. That was exactly the effect that Shen Yun Performing Arts had on Angela Reed, vice president and business loan officer at Comerica Bank. Reed attended New York-based Shen Yun’s classical Chinese dance performance at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts on Dec. 26, 2019.
“It touched your soul. It was the most amazing experience ever,” a radiant Reed told NTD Television.
“I would say if you have never seen this type of performance then you’d need to see it because it would awaken something in you—you’ll not be the same person that you were before you came in.
“I didn’t know what to expect and I just feel enlightened and I feel better.
“It’s not something that you just see and ‘I’ve seen this before’ and they’re dancing. You felt every movement, you felt the music and I think each one of us probably came away with something different. I just, it just touched my soul.”
Shen Yun’s mission is to revive China’s ancient traditions and culture. Once known as “The Divine Land,” China was a society steeped in spiritual wisdom and beliefs.
According to Shen Yun’s website, “For 5,000 years divine culture flourished in the land of China. Humanity’s treasure was nearly lost, but through breathtaking music and dance, Shen Yun is bringing back this glorious culture.”
Reed confirmed that the glory Shen Yun wishes to convey touched her soul.
“Especially towards the end, the very last piece seems to bring everything back together. And that if you believe, you have faith, you will survive, and the world will become a better place. How could you not be touched by that?” Reed said.
Shen Yun consists of numerous short pieces that include stories told through the highly-expressive art form of classical Chinese dance, plus folk and ethnic dances, bel canto singers, and virtuoso instrumentalists.
The final dance of the evening Reed referred to is titled “Renewal of Heaven and Earth” and depicts practitioners of Falun Dafa, an ancient meditation practice that follows truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. A real-life drama plays out onstage that tells of the unfortunate persecution of these kindhearted people in China today, but also the hope and positivity they exhibit despite the brutality against them. Since the current communist regime came to power over 70 years ago, it has persecuted people of all faiths and sought to destroy traditional Chinese culture, fearing it may somehow interfere with the regime’s grip on the nation.
Reed commented further on the deep impression the final dance of the evening left on her.
“If you go back to your true beliefs and be a good human being, we can maybe save the world. Just refreshing, a remembrance of what life should be, how you should treat people and better days are coming.”
Ancient Chinese sages believed that good is rewarded and evil is punished. This theme is one Reed recognized in Shen Yun’s performance and she expounded on it.
“The more you share, the more you touch, and the more they touch, the more it spreads,” Reed said, referring to goodness and good people.
“I think [Shen Yun performers] are spreading hope to the world. I think they’re helping to make a statement in the world. Their way of sharing, their talent is sharing with the world how we should be.”
With reporting by NTD Television and Brett Featherstone.