FAIRFAX, Virginia—Shen Yun Performing Art’s mission to revive the 5,000-year-old civilization of China is one that sounds lofty, but to those familiar with the culture, the New York-based performing arts company is clearly succeeding.
Zhen, an artist from China, was moved in a myriad of ways seeing a performance in Fairfax, Virginia at the George Mason University Center for the Arts on Jan. 17, 2020.
Watching the performance, Zhen said he felt both proud of the sublime culture Shen Yun had brought to life, and deeply saddened that because of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP), this culture cannot survive in China today.
“But I believe one day it will!” Zhen said, expressing a wish that Shen Yun will someday in the future perform in China, and that the ordinary citizens of China will have the opportunity to connect to their culture once more.
Zhen marveled at the skill level of the classical Chinese dancers, and the unique orchestra blending East and West. He recognized the influences of various martial arts and Beijing Opera in the dance and felt Shen Yun had managed to create something truly classical as well as innovative, with colors and set unlike those of any other production.
“It gives you this sort of feeling, everything in the production, that you can’t find in mainland [China],” Zhen said.
China was once known as the Celestial Kingdom, and the culture believed to be divinely inspired. It was only a few decades ago that the CCP took power in China, and began its various campaigns to root out traditional culture and belief in the divine.
Zhen’s heart went out to the people of China, who he says are truly worth sympathy and pity, because living under the CCP they have been lied to, and even brainwashed.
What Does Shen Yun Have to do With Falun Gong?
A Shen Yun production is typically made up of some 20 vignettes of dance and the occasional musical solo performance, and every so often the audience may catch a reference to Falun Gong.
As the program explains, Shen Yun artists practice the spiritual meditation, which revolves around the tenets of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. It is an ancient Chinese practice that shot to popularity in China in the 1990s, so much so the CCP banned and launched a vicious propaganda campaign to squash what it perceived as a movement.
“To be honest, I didn’t believe it,” Zhen said. Back when he was living in China, the CCP had declared the peaceful practice a terrible cult in every news outlet, and Zhen, like millions in China, believed the regime. Zhen said it was only when he came to the States and was able to access the truth and facts about Falun Gong that he realized he had been lied to.
“After coming to the United States and seeing the facts, many, many facts, I really feel the CCP is too evil,” Zhen said with sadness. He saw not only the CCP’s outright lies, but its persecution of many religious groups, minorities, and now the killing of innocents in Hong Kong.
Such a regime is one without humanity, Zhen said.
It broke his heart for the people of China, because despite the regime there are good people, many of whom he says are fleeing overseas because they cannot survive in such a totalitarian state that squelches culture, belief, and humanity.
But what Shen Yun is doing is showing the world the authentic Chinese culture, Zhen said, and at the same time unmasking the CCP for what it is—evil.
Shen Yun gave Zhen hope.
“This rich cultural cornerstone of our Chinese civilization, [Shen Yun has made it so] that Westerners can too appreciate it,” Zhen said.
“Truly, this level of culture cannot be enjoyed at home. It really cannot be found in China,” Zhen said.
With reporting by Jenny Jing.
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.