CINCINNATI—Mr. Thomas Copanas was struck with the spiritual depth presented by Shen Yun Performing Arts, “particularly in the one song being sung. Very deep, very meaningful, and I had never had that exposure to the Chinese culture,” he said.
Mr. Copanas and his wife Sondra attended the Jan. 30 performance at the Aronoff Center for the Arts. Together, they own a manufacturing business, Overly Hautz.
“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,” according to Shen Yun’s website.
“I was really struck with amount of spiritual life there is, and this foundation is very, very deep, and very, very meaningful, and I appreciated that,” Mr. Copanas said.
The couple know friends in China who have experienced religious persecution, and so they understand some of the dances Shen Yun presents which depict the repression of faith in China today. The Chinese communist party has sought to undermine traditional values during its 60 or so year regime.
The couple was also intrigued by classical Chinese dance, the artistic form for which Shen Yun is best known.
According to Shen Yun’s website, “This dance system is complete with aesthetic principles and its own “unique dance movements, rhythms, and inner meaning.”
“I’ve never been exposed to Chinese dance. I have three daughters that all dance ballet for eleven and a half years, so I can see a lot of wonderful technique. I’m enjoying that,” Mrs. Copanas said.
She noted the uniqueness of the dance: “It is different than classical ballet. It’s very different from the five positions.”
Mr. Copanas enjoyed the costumes, handmade and expressing the flavor of Chinese culture’s many ethnicities and dynasties, in addition to the garb of heavenly beings.
Mrs. Copanas brought the interview back to the issue of repression in China. “I feel badly for the Chinese that they don’t have freedom to express their own faith,” she said.
“I’m impressed with the five thousand years of history, just amazing,” she said.
Reporting by Teresa You and Sharon Kilarski
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.