MODESTO, Calif.—Gary Beaudette is the owner of a consulting firm. He is also a renowned songwriter and an author of children’s books. On the evening of Oct. 20, he, his wife, and his daughter came to see Shen Yun Performing Arts.
“All [the] stories are great. They were very in-depth too,” Monica Beaudette, his wife, said.
New York-based Shen Yun tells vivid stories through music and dance. Sometimes, the stories come from the four classics of Chinese literature, such as “Journey to the West” and “Outlaws of the Marsh,” or they are derived from things happening in present-day China.
One of the dances told the story of Falun Gong practitioners being persecuted for their faith.
Falun Gong is a traditional Chinese spiritual practice based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. The practice was banned by the CCP in 1999, shortly after a state-run survey estimated that there were at least 70 million people practicing Falun Gong in China.
“The persecution was the one that was most surprising to me. The story, the context about [it still going] on today in China, too,” Monica Beaudette said.
Shen Yun’s mission is to revive China’s 5,000 years of tradition and civilization.
“I think it is important. … they said they won’t be able to do this performance in China right now. [It’s] not good to withhold culture. I think everyone should be able to express their culture and learn about it and then share with others,” Gary Beaudette said.
They were also struck with Shen Yun’s bel canto singers, who sang about the importance of traditional values and morals. The Beaudettes said they agreed with the message in the songs.
“The singing evoked emotion in me. It was beautiful,” Monica Beaudette said.
Reporting by Mary Mann and Maria Han.