COSTA MESA, Calif.—Thousands of years of art and culture were nearly destroyed in just a couple of years, when communists came to power in China and sought to systemically uproot the traditions that came before it. Based in New York, a group of artists from around the world came together to form Shen Yun Performing Arts ten years ago. According to its mission statement, these artists aim to share the authentic traditional Chinese culture with the world.
Tom Hastings, president of the California region for Citizens for Global Solutions, resonated with this mission as he has taken up a similar one. His organization was formed shortly after World War II, and is a grassroots organization that aims to help the world work together to protect citizens’ rights and freedoms. He is interested in the “fundamental freedom for all of humanity.”
Thus, the performance was full of touching moments, Mr. Hastings said.
“I was very relaxed, and [it] was very uplifting,” he said.
In about 20 pieces consisting of story based dances, ethnic and folk dances, and bel canto vocalists, Shen Yun tells myths and legends and stories of China’s 5,000 years. According to the program, China was once known as the Celestial Empire, with its culture imparted from the heavens, and Shen Yun seeks to share this gift with the world.
At the center of this ancient civilization is a spirituality Mr. Hastings took great interest in. He noticed there was a theme of people coming from heaven, and it was present through many stories.
To see this suppressed culture thrive on stage again, he was impressed: “It’s very uplifting—I feel very connected to China and their heritage, and I hope more people see it and understand and help us all get along,” he said.
Reporting by Michael Ye and Catherine Yang
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit Shen Yun Performing Arts.
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.