BALTIMORE—Since their first experience with Shen Yun in 2006 in Delaware, Chinese engineer Ms. Chen and her husband Jim Morgan have attended Shen Yun performances regularly. This year, they drove three hours to attend Shen Yun’s 2014 performance at the Modell Performing Arts Center in Baltimore.
“We love Shen Yun’s music and dance, we love all of it,” said Mr. Morgan, a college professor of information engineering. “The content is diverse and remarkable, and the performers are extremely skilled. We are deeply in love with Shen Yun’s performance from beginning to end.”
Ms. Chen said that since the first time she watched Shen Yun, she felt that she was watching the revival of a culture that was once lost.
“During the Cultural Revolution … everything was lost,” said Ms. Chen.
The New York-based Shen Yun’s mission is to revive 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture nearly lost under 60 years of communist rule. Shen Yun dances include tales and characters inspired by Chinese ancient records and classics.
“Based on documented historical events, these stories give abstract ideas—like loyalty, filial piety, selflessness, and tolerance—a concrete form. Timeless favorites, these stories are treasure troves of ancient China; once opened, the traditional Chinese culture immediately reappears,” according to the Shen Yun website.
During the interview, Ms. Chen related a vivid experience she had while watching Shen Yun in Philadelphia previously. “The opening piece was about divine beings descending down to the Earth. It gave me a very different feeling. I was amazed. In subsequent years, I always felt very moved after watching the show.”
“I believe that this performance is full of positive energy,” she said. “I have heard great reviews of Shen Yun from locals and I believe the reason this performance is so different is because the performers have pure hearts.”
“As a Chinese person, I find it necessary to refresh my knowledge of Chinese culture once in awhile,” said Ms. Chen. “However, I don’t want to watch something without meaning. Shen Yun, however, is full of positive energy that serves not only to entertain, but to touch one’s soul.”
“As people, we are supposed to return to the heavens, and in order to do so we must cultivate ourselves and get rid of our bad thoughts and desires,” she said. “My husband is Catholic, and he believes that one can go to heaven by following God. But have you ever thought about it—how can we return to the heavens if we are full of bad thoughts and substances?”
“Shen Yun is very much in line with my ideals,” said Ms. Chen. “Nowadays, I don’t really watch any other performances. I only want what is righteous and full of inner meaning.”
Reporting by Lin Nan and Virginia Wu
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.
The 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.