WASHINGTON—Shen Yun Performing Arts regaled the audience on Thursday evening, March 29, at the Kennedy Center Opera House.
“It is a magnificent and beautiful performance, and it’s very heartwarming and touching,” said Colorado Congressman Doug Lamborn, who had previously seen the performance. “It gives a good insight into the cultural history of China.”
New York-based Shen Yun presents the 5,000 year-old, divinely-inspired Chinese culture through “sophisticated dance techniques, an orchestra joining instruments East and West, beautiful costumes, and a stunning back drop,” according to its website.
The Chinese Communist Party has attempted to wipe out this culture through various campaigns over the past more than 60 years. Shen Yun is reviving the culture and showing it to audiences at top venues around the world.
“There’s also some very touching presentations about the triumph of the human spirit—about courage in the face of persecution that Falun Gong followers have had to suffer,” said Congressman Lamborn, a member of the International Religious Freedom Caucus in the US Congress. “We believe that every person in this entire world should have freedom of conscience, and unfortunately we don’t have that all over the world. It makes us all long for the day when there will be freedom of conscience in the entire world.”
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is guided by the principles of “Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance,” according to Shen Yun’s website. “It has helped over a hundred million Chinese people understand and return to the essence of traditional Chinese culture … .”
The spirit of compassion and tolerance shown by Falun Gong practitioners “manifest the very essence of China’s 5,000 year-old divine culture,” explains the website. Falun Gong-related dances and lyrics “touch the heart and enlighten the mind.”
‘A great learning experience’
Will Lamborn, who came with his father, also enjoyed his first experience seeing Shen Yun.
“It was a wonderful show,” he said. “It was such an honor to be here and be able to watch it, and to see all the amazing performers put on wonderful dance pieces, and the orchestra was great, and the compositions were great, and all the musicians were wonderful, and so I’ve had a blast.”
The younger Mr. Lamborn is a filmmaker. His films have been shown at multiple film festivals, including the Sundance Film Festival.
Though he creates movies, Mr. Lamborn appreciated beholding the performance in-person.
“It’s hard for a lot of people to go see live performances anymore, and that’s so important to do because its a different experience—it’s a bigger experience than you might get just watching something on television or in a movie theater,” he explained. “Because it’s actual people on stage you feel like you were so much more a part of it.”
One aspect that stood out to Mr. Lamborn was how many different areas originate from classical Chinese dance, such as martial arts and gymnastics.
“It’s a great learning experience for me,” he said. “I would love to come back again. I live in Los Angeles, but if I’m ever back in Washington [when Shen Yun is performing], and when the show comes to Los Angeles I’m sure to see it.”
Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, tours the world on a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company will perform at The Kennedy Center Opera House, Washington, D.C., through April 1.
For more information visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org