COSTA MESA, Calif.—Business owner Sophia Polny was blown away when she saw Shen Yun Performing Arts. She thought the performance was spiritually uplifting and peaceful as though it was “divinely guided here.”
“Quite extraordinary. Wow and wow and wow,” said Polny, who saw Shen Yun with her husband at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California, on April 20.
Shen Yun is currently touring the world with the mission to bring back China’s 5,000 years of semi-divine culture through performing arts. The New York-based company takes audience members on an exploration into Chinese civilization and history through about 20 vignettes of classical Chinese dance, folk and ethnic dances, story-based dances, and solo music pieces.
Polny, who co-owns a gold, silver, and cryptocurrency consulting business, was particularly touched by Shen Yun’s portrayal of the divine and the importance of spirituality in our lives today.
“[The story themes] are awakened within each of us,” she said. “It’s [about] just [being] more aware of who we are, and how divine we are, and how beautiful [our] souls are individually, and always to remember that moving through your day.”
She said the piece “Goodness in the Face of Evil” was particularly touching for her because the character’s conviction to her faith was strong. This story-based piece is about a girl who was persecuted for her faith in Falun Dafa in modern communist China.
“The one that really did it for me was when she was captured, obviously affirming her beliefs, and then they blinded her. And then she got rescued back to her family and received her sight again because she’s to believe in her belief and practice her belief,” she said.
“I think that is quite beautiful and … we can all remember that no matter what we go through, we’re always going to be uplifted and go back to our original, divine soul.”
Falun Gong, or Falun Dafa, teaches “Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance” and has helped over 100 million Chinese people today understand and return to the essence of traditional Chinese culture. But the Chinese regime banned the practice in 1999 and has since continued to systematically persecute Falun Gong adherents in China. People who are caught practicing the discipline in China face severe persecution, including torture, imprisonment, and even death.
These stories portray themes like spiritual devotion, the benevolence of gods, good and evil retribution, and the search for the meaning of life, according to the company’s website. Such values are foundational to traditional Chinese culture and are not political in nature. Instead, these stories aim to inspire audience members and encourage them to reflect on themselves and the world around them, just like Polny.
She said through the performance she is inspired to always remember that “we’re here not just to service ourself but to service each other and humanity with love.”
Polny added that the way the performers carried themselves was surreal.
“The beauty of just being simple, but all the same time powerful,” she said. “You know, with pure brilliance of lights and arts and just [the] expression of who they are.”
She said the performers uplift audience members and remind them to be “more generous” and “share [that] generosity with everybody else.”
“If you want to see a show that’s going to really enrich your soul and put you in a different perspective in life, especially to a broader and more beautiful perspective, come and see this show. It will be memorable—[a] memorable one to see,” Polny said.
With reporting by Marie-Paul Baxiu.
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time and has covered audience reactions since the company’s inception in 2006.