China’s Ancient Spiritual Culture Well-Preserved in New York

February 22, 2016

MELBOURNE, Australia—Jill Skromanis was flabbergasted to learn Shen Yun Performing Arts could not be performed in China today. But knowing its rich cultural heritage is being celebrated and well-preserved in New York, leaves her confident and positive that its spiritual history will be kept intact for future generations.

“Very impressive, very impressive—I was just saying I am surprised that something like this couldn’t be performed in China today. That surprises me and it is quite astounding—a big shame,” the human resources manager said. “It is wonderful that people living in New York and America are celebrating Chinese culture and heritage.”

Shen Yun is a classical Chinese dance company founded in New York in 2006 with a mission to revive China’s 5,000 years of divinely-inspired culture. “In the late 1960s, the Chinese Communist Party launched a massive movement aimed at destroying traditional Chinese beliefs. Known as the Cultural Revolution, it nearly wiped out millennia of civilization,” the program book says.

Ms. Skromanis attended the matinee performance on Sunday, Feb. 22, at the Melbourne Art Centre, State Theatre, with her two daughters aged 8 and 10, who both dance. They all left the theatre inspired by Shen Yun, she said.

“It is fantastic, it is wonderful—it really is very impressive. Our children were asking, ‘do these people live in China?’ And we say ‘no, they live in America. And this is where they get to learn about their Chinese heritage.'”

She was in awe of the ability of the dancers on the one hand, but on the other, Ms. Skromanis couldn’t help look at the horror of the Cultural Revolution’s aftermath—and what the world has since lost, she said. “So you get both aspects: the artistic side of things as well as thinking about the people.”

Shen Yun’s production comprises classical Chinese dance and ethnic dance, an orchestra of both Eastern and Western composition, lavish costumes, and stunning backdrops.

Ms. Skromanis paid tribute to Shen Yun for reviving and preserving China’s five millennia culture as being great and positive.

“It is bringing out and celebrating that spiritual aspect when it has history where the spiritual aspect was attempted to be stomped on. And it is wonderful to celebrate that and bring it to the fore, because that is at the heart of the Chinese culture,” she said. “I think this can only do great things, this is a positive thing that’s happening.”

Reporting by Bowen Xiao and Raiatea Tahana-Reese

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.