An executive director at the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences, Dr. Mehta attended the New York-based Shen Yun performance with his wife, Dr. Varsha Bhatt-Mehta of the University of Michigan, and visiting family members from his homeland.
“We are from India so we have a rich culture and tradition of our own and history, but it is certainly something to see the Chinese culture … their dedication to preserving their values and traditions and history; I think is absolutely phenomenal,” Dr. Mehta said.
Shen Yun aspires to reawaken China’s 5,000-year-old history—all but destroyed under six decades of communist rule—with a portrayal of legends, traditional and modern stories woven throughout the performance.
“The costumes were absolutely out of this world,” Dr. Mehta said. “I love that snow flake dance; there was just a lot to appreciate in the determination of the organizers to do this thing. That’s just absolutely fantastic.”
Dr. Bhatt-Mehta said: “We have some very similar approaches to expressing our culture through dance and music.” As such, she was able to follow the stories even though her knowledge of Chinese history and culture was limited.
“I think the one [story-dance] that struck me was about the monkey, the Monkey King. You could follow just from looking at their expressions and actions as to what they were trying to say,” she said.
Reporting by Valerie Avore and Raiatea Tahana-Reese.
For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.