PHOENIX—Marshall Whitehead, a veteran immigration attorney, brought his fiance to watch Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Orpheum Theatre April 1, 2016, and he was pleased.
“It’s a great performance,” said Mr. Whitehead. “I just think the performers are fantastic … Everything they do is beautiful. It’s very beautiful.”
“It’s a nice summary of 5,000 years of dancing, and each dance means something in the Chinese culture. It’s important that Americans can see that here,” he said.
“It’s probably the first exposure Americans have had [to traditional Chinese culture],” Mr. Whitehead added. He feels it’s a notable accomplishment for Shen Yun to convey China’s art, spirituality, dance forms, and traditional dress to people in the U.S.
Shen Yun is a New York-based, classical Chinese dance and music company that tours to some 100 cities in more than 20 countries across five continents each year, endearing millions of audience members to its rich display of authentic Chinese culture.
Indeed, what Mr. Whitehead said is correct. Each of the dances, whether it be classical Chinese, folk or ethnic, has significance, and even each dance movement, posture, pivot, expression, or the lifting of one’s hand conveys meaning.
Shen Yun’s website states that these movements and the spirit of the art form “endow classical Chinese dance with incredible expressivity, and vast creative potential. It can nimbly portray movements from daily life, as well as profoundly express the innermost transformation of one’s emotional state.”
Each Shen Yun performance includes approximately 20 vignettes that whisk audiences away on a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese civilization. Myths and legends come to life as well as historically documented events, and each illustrates the belief system and values that have made Chinese civilization endure, uninterrupted, for hundreds of generations.
Mr. Whitehead said he enjoyed Shen Yun’s presentation. He said it “shows a reflection of the Chinese spiritual thought process.”
“It’s beautiful. It’s all encompassing of the Asian [culture],” he said. He enjoyed the emphasis of having a peaceful coexistence with nature, and he said he felt peaceful during the performance.
Mr. Whitehead has a unique connection to Chinese people that goes back to the beginning of his career. He said he worked closely on the U.S. immigration law related to China’s one-child policy.
“About 30 years ago, I worked on the immigration policy called ‘Resisting the One-child Birth Control Policy,'” he said. “The case I worked on set the law for today’s immigration policy on the one-child policy.”
The law protects people fleeing from China if they are at risk of being forcefully sterilized.
Mr. Whitehead understands that under the current communist regime, Chinese citizens’ freedoms have been diminished, including the freedom to watch Shen Yun.
He said he appreciates that Shen Yun can be seen in America even though it’s not allowed in China.
Mr. Whitehead would recommend the performance to anyone. “Yes, absolutely,” he said.
Reporting by NTD Television and Albert Roman
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.