NEW YORK—As Victor Zammit and his wife Kathleen journeyed through 5,000 years of Chinese history, visiting different dynasties, ethnic groups, and mystery lands, they developed a warm attachment toward the culture. They said were not aware of how grand this divinely inspired culture was until they experienced Shen Yun Performing Arts.
Zammit, who was the former national director of tax at Ernst & Young, said all praises when he experienced the performance at The David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center in New York on Jan. 17. The New York-based Shen Yun tours the globe every year, since 2006, with a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture and universal values through performing arts.
“Very artistic, very creative, very romantic, absolutely beautiful,” Zammit said, adding that he would like to see the performance again and bring his grandson next time.
“I wish my grandson was old enough to enjoy this … he would enjoy it very much,” he said.
Every Shen Yun performance is comprised of around 20 vignettes of classical Chinese dance, story-based dances, and ethnic and folk dances from China’s many ethnic minorities and regions. The pieces are suitable for people of all ages and the values portrayed inspire people from all walks of life.
Kathleen said she liked how every aspect of the performance came together, like the costumes and colors, to make up a “beautiful presentation.”
“It’s really beautiful you have a lot of history,” she said. “It’s a performance that is non-paralleled. I mean I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Goodness Triumphs Over Evil
Many of Shen Yun’s stories showcase historical events, myths and legends passed down generation after generation, or modern day pieces portraying today’s real-life human rights abuses in China like the persecution of Falun Gong.
Falun Gong, or Falun Dafa, teaches “Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance” and has helped over 100 million Chinese people today understand and return to the essence of traditional Chinese culture. But the Chinese regime banned the practice in 1999 and has since continued to systematically persecute Falun Gong adherents in China. People who are caught practicing the discipline in China face severe persecution, including torture, imprisonment, and even death.
These stories portray themes like spiritual devotion, the benevolence of gods, good and evil retribution, and the search for the meaning of life, according to the company’s website. Such values are foundational to traditional Chinese culture and are not political in nature.
These contemporary story pieces touched Zammit. He said it was unfortunate to learn that terrible things like the persecution are still taking place in China.
“I’m hoping that the leadership there sees the light and makes some changes,” he said.
Kathleen echoed her husband, saying that “freedom is a really important thing.” She added that she was inspired by the message from the stories: “goodness does win over evil.”
With reporting by Wei Yong and Janita Kan.
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.