PORTLAND—Writer Pam Young decided to come watch Shen Yun Performing Arts after being intrigued by the dancing she saw in an online advertisement.
“I love ballet and saw a lot of similarities, and I’ve never seen Chinese dance,” she said.
So Young and her husband Terry Richard, video producer, attended the performance together in Portland, and they were not disappointed.
“My impression is that, we have 13 grandchildren, I wish every one of them could have been here today to experience this,” Richard said.
New York-based Shen Yun is the leading classical Chinese dance company whose mission is to revive 5,000 years of authentic Chinese culture through song and dance. Its two-hour long program consists of about 20 segments featuring classical Chinese dance vignettes, vocal soloists, and stories told through dance.
Richard enjoyed the variety in the programming and appreciated the two emcees’ explanations of the stories and dances before each piece.
As a video specialist, he was also blown away by Shen Yun’s 3-D backdrop, which added an unique element to the scenes unfolding on stage. In fact, Richard was so fixated on the projection, that at times he even forgot to pay attention to the performers on stage.
“I was just entranced by the backdrop and how it was changing, and the birds flying and the lightning and all of that. And how you incorporated the background with the live talent,” he said.
Young, a writer of self-help books for women, meanwhile was struck by the spiritual element flowing through the performance.
Traditional Chinese culture is centered around a belief in the divine, as carried through in the teachings of Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. Values and principles emphasized by such teachings include respect for elders, propriety, and righteousness, and have guided Chinese people and society for thousands of years, up until the Chinese communist regime seized power 70 years ago.
The writer was particular struck by the message in the closing segment titled “The Final Moment,” a story set in today’s China.
Young thought the moral behind the story was the need to value tradition to ensure humankind’s prosperity.
She was also touched by the depictions of strength in spite of communist oppression in China, embodied by practitioners of spiritual practice Falun Dafa.
“I just loved the fight that Chinese people have against the regime that’s in China, that you can’t have your spiritual practices. I’m so grateful we have freedom of religion in America. It was wonderful,” she said.
Richard echoed this sentiment.
“I hope I’m still around, when the day comes that you can take this show to China. Wouldn’t that be great?” he said.
With reporting by Frank Zhang.
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.