PORTLAND, Ore.—Mr. and Mrs. Mitton, who have had firsthand experience with modern Chinese culture, were more than satisfied with the genuine Chinese culture presented by Shen Yun Performing Arts—as opposed to what they had experienced at theaters in Beijing.
Reid Mitton, a retired marketing manager, said: ” We’ve lived in China. We spent a year teaching in Beijing and so we look for things that bring up the culture and this is very interesting to have this approach which is the non-communist approach, which is not atheistic.”
According to the company’s website, “For thousands of years, traditional art forms such as music and dance have been integrated into Chinese life, expressing benevolence, beauty, and many other virtues. But today’s arts emerging from China are infused with Party Culture, and it is evident both overtly and covertly.
“The Party discovered that traditional themes can be replaced with its own violent ideology to turn the arts into a strong propaganda tool. The ultimate goal is to substitute remnants of traditional Chinese culture in people’s minds with Party Culture, thereby safeguarding the regime’s power,” the website states.
Sanna Mitton, a piano teacher, followed up on her husband’s comments: ”When we were in China, a lot of the shows that we saw, they would have at least one or two segments where they were very militaristic: dancing in uniform, and praising the flag, and this sort of thing.”
From the company’s website: “In the case of the Chinese Communist Party, its Marxist-atheist ideology holds that people must ‘fight with heaven, fight with earth, fight with each other,’ and focuses on ‘class struggle.’ It sees traditional Chinese culture, which stems from the Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucian faiths, as its greatest rival.”
That is the reason why Shen Yun cannot perform in China.
Mr. Mitton was especially impressed with the opening scene. “I thought the first number that they performed was very good in addressing the subject of creation with a divine power behind it,” he said.
The misty opening scene, Grand Descent of the Deities, begins with “a dance portraying a group of divine beings who vow to assist the Creator in rescuing sentient beings. They descend to earth and reincarnate as human beings to guide China’s 5,000 years of civilization,” according to the program.
As a piano teacher, Mrs. Mitton said that she had never come across such a unique blend of Eastern and Western instruments as Shen Yun symphonic orchestra masterfully presented.
“I think the music’s just beautiful; I love it and it’s done very well,” she said.
Summing up her overall impression about the performance, Mrs. Mitton said: ”I think it’s fabulous. It’s a really lovely show.”
Reporting by Lauren DePhillips and Nataly Teplitsky
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.