SARASOTA, Fla.—Gilbert, a former Canadian city councilor who is visiting Florida for the winter, admired the originality and courage depicted in Shen Yun Performing Arts’ classical Chinese dance and music performance at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall on Dec. 29.
“I really enjoyed the first half very much,” said Gilbert during the intermission.
“So grandiose—the scale, the coordination, the originality of the costumes and movements, and the story that unfolded.”
Based in New York, Shen Yun’s mission is to revive the essence of Chinese culture through the performing arts, thus bringing the wonders of ancient Chinese culture to audiences across the globe.
Gilbert said Shen Yun is making a “very ambitious” effort to cover a span of 5,000 years of Chinese history; he admired the unique blend of spirituality, culture, and tradition in the performances.
“I like the originality of the presentation and the ambition,” he said.
He showed a deep concern over the ongoing repression of adherents of Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa), a spiritual discipline rooted in Chinese culture. In one dance piece set in contemporary China, Shen Yun artists depict a story of courage and faith in the face of brutal treatment by authorities in China.
“They were very brave in presenting the persecution of Falun Gong. I really admire that group. They are still persecuted today in China. I really admire what they are about,” Gilbert said.
According to its website, Shen Yun’s artistic team was inspired by the courage of Falun Gong adherents in China in their peaceful efforts to expose the persecution, and to that end brings their stories to stages around the world, depicting them through song and dance dramas.
“It turns out this courage and message of hope has moved Shen Yun’s performers and audience members alike,” the website says.
Reporting by Sally Sun and Arshdeep Sarao
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.