SYDNEY, Australia—Former Liberal Party senator Eric Abetz said he was impressed by the richness and professionalism of Shen Yun Performing Arts after he watched the New York-based performance at the Sydney Lyric Theatre on May 6.
“[At] the first rise of the curtain, I was just impressed by the richness of the colour and the professionalism,” Mr. Abetz said.
Along with Shen Yun’s synchronised dancers, animated backdrop, and live orchestra, Mr. Abetz said that “everything was done to perfection.”
As the curtain is raised, audience members are taken to Shen Yun’s opening scene—”From Heaven to Save All”—where the Creator is seen summoning heavenly beings to descend on earth to establish a semi-divine culture. This is a common belief held in traditional Chinese culture.
Then, moving along through China’s 5,000-year-old history, the values of the ancient culture are showcased through Shen Yun’s story-based vignettes—displaying stories of loyalty, compassion, and faith.
“Shen Yun is a wonderful use of traditional culture to tell traditional stories, but also a modern story—and the fact that it’s banned in China tells us everything we need to know about the communist dictatorship there,” Mr. Abetz said.
Shen Yun’s mission is to revive traditional Chinese culture that is free from communism. The company’s tagline this year is “China before communism.”
Mr. Abetz, who has been outspoken on the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) oppression of the Chinese people, said the communist regime tramples on basic freedoms.
“[The CCP] doesn’t support freedom of speech and cultural expression, and they want it all about the communist party since the revolution, and that’s all they’re concerned about,” he said.
“People that have got a broader perspective can see the benefits of celebrating and maintaining traditional culture but also having that overlay of freedom which doesn’t exist [in modern China].”
Since 1949, the CCP has sought to destroy China’s 5,000-year-old culture.
Through a series of campaigns, such as the Cultural Revolution, the CCP destroyed almost all traditional beliefs and customs.
One of the stories Shen Yun depicts is inspired by the current persecution of Falun Dafa in China. Falun Dafa is an ancient spiritual practice that is based on the principles of truth, compassion, and tolerance.
“[Shen Yun’s] bringing a message to the world of what’s going on in China, and also the importance of there being something above and beyond what’s going on today—we need hope, and that comes through a faith,” Mr. Abetz said.
Mr. Abetz added that those who watch Shen Yun are impacted in some way.
“This afternoon, I would anticipate that about 2000 people would have witnessed the Shen Yun performance, and if that’s replicated with other audiences right around the world, then more and more people will get the message of the wonderful richness of Chinese culture but also of the Chinese people are suffering under today.”
Reporting by NTD and Henry Jom.
The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of Shen Yun Performing Arts. We have covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.