SALT LAKE CITY, Utah—A dancer’s training is filled with discipline and grit. Lisa Fifield was the first-ever American to be contracted by a Chinese ballet company. She danced with the Guangzhou Ballet in China early in her career, and after seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts, she said she is glad that Shen Yun’s dancers can dance without fear.
“I danced under the communist government and so there is such a different feeling as I watch the [Shen Yun] performers,” she said. “There is a bright, happy peace that exudes from all the dancers, and as I watched that, I cried because I remember the level of fear and the difficult rigors of training that I went through with the dancers at Guangzhou ballet.”
She elaborated on her time in China: “The ridicule, even hitting and abuse—literal abuse—that the dancers went through as I was contracting with them … it’s very refreshing for me to see these dancers just dance without fear and also share a message of truth.”
“I also feel this overwhelming hope when I see them dance because I am particularly aware of what’s happening with the Chinese communist government,” Ms. Fifield said. “I’ve continued to learn Chinese because I want to be a messenger of truth of what is happening in China, and I pay attention to what is going on in our own country in America.”
“I think too many Americans are so unaware of what is really going on here,” she said, “and I just am really grateful that these dancers are able to still project the message from ancient China.”
Shen Yun’s performances showcase China’s 5,000 years of civilization—one of the oldest civilizations in the world.
“China is actually a very beautiful, deep, rich cultural kingdom and I love to study that,” Ms. Fifield said. “I love to study the ancient art forms, the language, the history, and I think that if people would understand that part of China, they would see a part of China that is so different from what is depicted today.”
After the Chinese Communist Party took over, the world’s opinion of China changed.
“It’s actually really unfortunate that … [Chinese] people are under surveillance and they are not able to express themselves freely like we are in America.”
“As long as we still have our freedom, we need to understand messages about Falun Dafa and the truth of what’s happening with harvesting of organs,” she continued.
She also thought that it was “important that we as Americans wake up, that we are ready to stand up for the Chinese people as well as our own people.”
After watching Shen Yun, Lisa was happy to share her joy.
“What I feel is just absolute joy. I love it! I love the beauty, I love the language,” she said.
Reporting by Ilene Eng and Maria Han.