MINNEAPOLIS— “Touching to the soul” was a phrase both Brian and Seven Carlson used to describe aspects of Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company’s depiction of 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture through dance and music.
They attended the evening performance on Feb. 13 at the Orpheum Theatre.
“The colors and the dancers are just amazing, said Brian, an IT project leader. “It’s been great really enjoyed it.”
Shen Yun uses classical Chinese dance to tell stories about beloved myths, legends, and characters from ancient times to the present day.
“The message is also very touching to one’s soul,” Brian said about the dance, The Power of Compassion. He felt there was a message of tolerance, compassion, and forgiveness.
This particular segment of the program is based on true events taking place in China today. In it, practitioners of a traditional spiritual meditation discipline give aid to a policeman who injures himself while trying to arrest them, according to the program book.
“The stories aren’t just Chinese, they transcend over to anyone,” said Seven, former youth psychiatric counselor.
For Seven, the beauty of the performance was not only seen in the dazzling costumes. “The performers all had so much joy in their face that just lights up your soul and your smile.”
The good energy of the dancers also put a smile on his face. “The energy is just so high, there is so much energy and its so playful and so serious at the same time, its so beautiful,” he said.
“Classical Chinese dance has a long history of thousands of years, and while soaking up profound wisdom from every era and dynasty, it has become a complete system of dance, embodying traditional aesthetic principles,” according to Shen Yun’s website.
“It’s just breathtaking to see that they have that much energy putting a performance on for that long a time, and fly through the air and tumbling and doing flips. It’s amazing,” said Seven.
Shen Yun’s mission is to revitalize traditional Chinese culture, a culture almost lost due to the policies of the communist regime. Many audience members are surprised to learn that the New York-based Shen Yun cannot perform in China due to these policies.
“I saw definitely heartbreak that this can’t be shown and performed in China, and [the dance]is from China. To know that meditation, which is so vital, is outlawed,” said Seven. “I’m wondering where is the common sense to that? Where is the compassion?
On the value of Shen Yun to restore traditional culture, Seven said, “We all live on the same planet, yet we know very little of one another. The art shouldn’t be just shut off and never performed again. I can’t imagine that.”
The benefits of restoring traditional culture are great he said, “You can’t let a culture die off or an art die off. It should be very valuable.”
Reporting by Sherry Dong and Cat Rooney
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.
Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reaction since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006