MODESTO, Calif.—Victor Barraza is a real estate agent as well as a board member for Gallo Center for the Arts. He was persuaded to see Shen Yun Performing Arts by his wife and he was struck by the depth of the performance.
New York-based Shen Yun is focused on reviving 5,000 years of Chinese civilization and portraying the truth of what is happening in China today through dance and music.
From the performance, Barraza could see the impact that communism has had on the Chinese people. He became aware that “if they disagree with your religious views, things can happen to you.”
Barraza was referring to the dance portraying the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China. He appreciated the use of art to tell the stories of these prisoners of conscience.
“How else can do you get this message across? This is a great way to get your message out. And we had no idea,” he said.
Apart from the atrocity, he also observed the corruption being portrayed. “Money plays such a big role in [the persecution], and how that will translate into ‘You better behave or else.'”
“I’m very happy to see [Shen Yun] convey that. And it’s sad to hear that something like this would never be allowed to be shown and performed [in China.]”
He added that the politics in the United States is currently very divided and that there is a lot of news about China. He recommended that people should know about the side of China that Shen Yun is portraying.
“You may support China in certain ways, but you should also know the other side,” he said.
“Look at what China has endured over all this time,” Barraza said. “[There is] still a lot of dancing, a lot of happy times, a lot of hope for the future.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Maria Han.