NEW YORK—Shen Yun Performing Arts came back to New York on April 18 to for a seven show run to those who missed the five sold-out performances in January. Lincoln Center was full on April 18, and among the audiences, many of them made a special trip here from China just to see Shen Yun. Mr. Guo was one of them. “It’s a magnificent performance and the Chinese leaders need to see it,” said Guo in tears.
“I waited for two months to come here and watch the performance in April!”
Guo learned about Shen Yun’s performance when he was in the U.S. this February. He made a special trip to New York to watch Shen Yun’s cultural revival on April 18.
“I took a leave and came here from China just to watch the show. I waited for two months to see the show!” Guo emphasized excitedly.
“This is the best show I have seen in my life and I will remember it the rest of my life. It is so beautiful, compassionate, and traditional. I see hope in it,” Guo said. He praised the outstanding dance skills, the unique music that was produced through an orchestra combining both Chinese and Western instruments, the gorgeous costumes, and the dynamic backdrop.
“Shen Yun well deserves its reputation! Classic and divine!” He exclaimed. “I tried to hold my tears but my heart was surging and trembling!”
New York-based Shen Yun tours the world with a mission to revive the 5,000 year-old, divinely inspired Chinese culture, after it was nearly destroyed by communist rule, according to the company.
“Sophisticated dance techniques, an orchestra joining instruments East and West, beautiful costumes, and a stunning back drop—this is Shen Yun at first glance,” the company’s websites says. “But digging deeper, one discovers a sea of traditional Chinese culture. Mortals and divine beings merge on stage as one. Principles such as benevolence and justice, propriety and wisdom, respect for the heavens, and divine retribution, all come to life, washing over the audience. Originating from Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism, these ideals are the essence of traditional Chinese culture.”
Mr. Guo said the way the components of Shen Yun come together to tell the divine stories of Chinese lore was “very pure, upright, and lovely.”
Award-winning vocalists, who sing original compositions in bel canto style in Chinese, with English subtitles on the backdrop behind them, are another part of Shen Yun.
“The songs come from the heart of the soloist and echo in my heart,” said Mr. Guo. “It’s the sincerity that touches the deepest level of my heart and connects with me. This is the first time in my life that I see such incredibly beautiful and sincere performance, which inspires and educates me.”
Guo condemns the Chinese regime’s persecution of Falun Gong. He was amazed to learn that Falun Gong not only survives the persecution but created such a brilliant performance. “It’s soul-stirring! Truly soul-stiring! I tried so hard not to let my tears pour down when I was in the middle of the performance but my heart is surging and trembling.”
According to Shen Yun’s website, “Falun Gong, also called Falun Dafa, is guided by the principles of ‘Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance.’ It has helped over a hundred million Chinese people understand and return to the essence of traditional Chinese culture—Confucian, Buddhist, and Taoist schools of thought.”
The Chinese Communist Party began “a ruthless and systematic campaign against Falun Gong practitioners” in 1999. “Falun Gong practitioners have held firm to their beliefs and have continued to expose countless injustices through peaceful means. Their spirit of compassion and tolerance manifest the very essence of China’s 5,000-year-old divine culture,” adds the website.
Mr. Guo felt that the Chinese people “should … know what a brutal suppression the Falun Gong practitioners have suffered in the past dozen years.”
Being in New York City, “a city symbolized by the Statue of Liberty,” and able to see Shen Yun outside of the oppressive environment in China, energized Mr. Guo.
“It’s a magnificent performance,” Guo said. “I am very inspired!”
Having friends that practice Falun Gong, Mr. Guo knows practitioners are “good people, innocent, and kind.
“However, the Chinese regime did not allow them to practice their belief and crack down on them, even steal their organs alive. I believe the performance of Shen Yun is also their pursuit of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance. Looking at the internal struggles between the core leaders in China, I believe that they need to watch Shen Yun’s performance carefully and rethink about their ruling. They need to give democracy and freedom back to the people.”
Mr. Guo believes that “once the Chinese people know the truth, the persecution of our own fellow citizens will stop. The Chinese people need to wake up, they need to know that in the past dozen years, Falun Gong practitioners suffered such horrible suppression!
“Shen Yun will definitely go to China soon,” he added. He will tell his relatives and friends about “such a fantastic and unique performance.”
Guo said, “The traditional Chinese culture Shen Yun manifested is enough to let the Chinese people live a blessed and happy life. I see today how the western mainstream cherishes and values traditional Chinese culture. It’s a shame people in China cannot see it. I see today the audiences were inspired, and I also see the hope of China.”
The experience left Guo feeling inspired, in both his work and personal life.
“Shen Yun leaves me a memorable gift,” he said, “that is worth cherishing in my whole life.”
Reporting by Chen Tiancheng and Lin Hsin-Yi.
Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world, with a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company will perform at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center through April 22.
For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.
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