MESA, Ariz.—A trip to Shen Yun Performing Arts to see its colorful, musical, and spiritual beauty proved of major value for Arizona’s Dan Bolen: Enthusiasm and positivity, despite the worries of a global pandemic.
“[Shen Yun] makes me feel—where we’re at right now in the world, because of this virus that’s going around—it makes me feel in a good place. I think it makes me appreciate the real value of the arts, the real value of dancing. And so I’m—it makes me feel enthusiastic, positive.” Bolen, who owns an executive recruitment firm in Scottsdale, attended New York-based Shen Yun at the Ikeda Theater at Mesa Arts Center on March 13, 2020.
“I actually saw [Shen Yun] about eight or nine years ago, and I thought it was outstanding. And I think that the thing that impresses me is the precision that they dance [with] and also the jumps that they do. I’ve seen that documentary on their training and how they get to where they’re at. So, I think their performance is phenomenal. You want to see real … It also has a gymnastic part to it. But also the way they synchronize and the way they blend all them together is outstanding.”
Restoring Chinese Culture
Shen Yun’s mission is to revive traditional Chinese culture and share it with the world. It does this by utilizing classical Chinese dance, live orchestral compositions, ancient bel canto singing techniques, and more. Gymnastics actually, originate from classical Chinese dance, a fact that the emcees of the performance parlay to audiences around the world. Many like Bolen are surprised by this fact.
China has long been considered “The Divine Land” and ancient Chinese people believed that their arts and other cultural attributes were bestowed to them by heaven. Shen Yun is passing on these deeply spiritual beliefs and practices today after they were almost destroyed at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.
Bolen is glad Shen Yun is working so hard to restore China’s rightful culture.
“I do, I agree with that. I think it should be brought back,” he said, adding that the spiritual component of the culture shouldn’t be left out.
“I do feel the spirituality” in the dances, he said, “and also of the storyline, understanding what the Chinese have gone through. So, I do feel the spirituality with it. Very strongly.”
If Bolen took away a message from Shen Yun, “I think, for me, [it’s] to appreciate the culture of China and to be able to see the athleticism of the performers and be able to understand how hard it is and appreciate the great culture of China. … It’s really positive that you brought [traditional Chinese culture] back to the United States, so I have nothing but positive reviews for it.”
Why Can’t Shen Yun Go to China?
Shen Yun is based in New York and cannot perform in China today, since the CCP has not relented in its campaign to wipe out traditional Chinese culture. This includes the persecution of followers of spiritual practices that come from China’s ancient traditions such as Falun Dafa.
That’s why theatergoers such as Bolen appreciate Shen Yun’s return to universal values. The company founder elaborated on what he saw were the principles in Shen Yun that get passed on to the audience.
“I think the value of peace, the value of culture, the value of dance, and how they should be able to get along and be able to co-operate as one, as a unit. And I would say that’s one of the values, is universal peace, and how [Shen Yun’s artists] have been able to express through dance and through their culture. And I think it helps us to appreciate that we can all get together in a peaceful relationship. That would be my value,” he said.
To Shen Yun‘s artists themselves, Bolen had a message of gratitude.
“I would just tell them how much we appreciate it. We realize the hard work they go into, how much training they do, and how much value we get out of their performances. And how it means a lot to us to be able to see their performance,” he said.
With reporting by NTD Television and Brett Featherstone.
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.