HOUSTON—Former Texas Secretary of State George W. Strake Jr. and his wife Annette celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary a few days earlier by attending the performance of Shen Yun Performing Arts on Jan. 6.
Mr. Strake said the show was awesome to watch and that it had an important message.
“I think the message is one of freedom, of letting individuals be who they want to be without government telling them who they should be. I think it’s really spectacular,” he said.
Shen Yun is a classical Chinese dance company based in New York. It was founded in 2006 to revive China’s traditional culture through the performing arts.
Since ancient times, a belief in the divine was central to Chinese culture. Since it took power in 1949, the atheist Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has enacted a series of campaigns aimed at destroying this belief and other traditional ideas.
Shen Yun’s website gives a brief history of the CCP’s campaigns: In the early 1950s, the Movement to Suppress Counterrevolutionaries tried to destroy Buddhism and Taoism. In 1957, the Anti-Rightist Movement targeted intellectuals and cultural elites who could have seen through the CCP’s machinations. Then from 1966 to 1976, The Cultural Revolution saw ancient temples, calligraphy, paintings, classic literature, and scriptures destroyed in the name of revolution.
After seeing the first half of Shen Yun, the Strakes were not at all surprised to learn that the company is based outside of China. They were in China just before the Tiananmen Square massacre and experienced firsthand how CCP censorship operates.
It was their love of Chinese culture that inspired them to see Shen Yun and the first half of the performance exceeded their expectations.
“It’s beautiful, uplifting and so gracious,” Mrs. Strake said.
“I knew it would be good … but it surpasses anything I’ve ever seen,” she said.
The dancers in particular impressed her.
“They’re all just so beautiful, so graceful,” she said. “I loved the way they just glide. It’s not steps, they just glide. It’s like [they’re] on ice.”
They’re “so well trained and together,” Mr. Strake said.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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.