NEW YORK—Shen Yun Performing Arts seeks to revive the divinely inspired culture of China that lasted 5,000 years until it was nearly lost in the last century. But the Martinganos found a universal message and a deep spiritual connection to what they saw on stage.
“It had a message about humanity,” said Frank Martingano, a physician with NYU Langone. “About the universe and God and how He is in all of us and we just have to find it—and express it. And live the life that God wants us to, rather than being into manmade things and worshipping those things.”
New York-based Shen Yun tells stories from China’s 5,000 years of history up to the modern day, many of which show deities and magical beings from Chinese legend and myth. There are also classical Chinese dance vignettes and ethnic and folk dances that show the diversity of China, all of which seek to convey the true essence of traditional Chinese culture.
Martingano attended the March 9 matinee with his wife, Josephine, and his daughter MarieElena, who is a dancer and choreographer now based in California.
“I am a dancer, I was really looking at the dancing, at the choreography, at the lightness and dynamics. I like how they brought in the element of nature,” MarieElena said.
“Their faces are so open and it makes the whole experience enjoyable and the technique is on point,” she said. The experience was one she was definitely going to recount for her colleagues.
Shen Yun artists seek to improve themselves not only physically and technically, but also in mind and spirit. As the program explains, the artists meditate together, and strive to live by the principles of truth, compassion, and tolerance, because they believe “that cultivating the heart is the way to create art that is beautifully sublime.”
This feeling came through to the Martinganos.
“I love the message of just the beauty of humanity,” Josephine said. “I love the costumes and colors and the way it expresses the universe and the human heart.”
Ancient Chinese dress is said to be inspired by heavenly garments, and the clothing of each dynasty reflected the virtues and ideals of that kingdom. For instance, the collars of the robes cross left over right to harmonize yang over yin, and every pattern used is inspired by the divine.
Though subtle, this, too, spoke to Josephine Martingano.
“I also love the costuming and how it presented the divine beings and the connection between humans on this earth, and then the divine and spiritual and when that separated,” Josephine said. “The costumes show what the divine beings would look like. We are divine and I think Heaven is in us.”
Frank Martingano had similar thoughts.
“I think the message can speak to people of all denominations and faiths. It’s just a basic principle that God is within us. And if we allow ourselves to see that and by living a life full of Godliness, then we will be more enriched and when our lives are over, our spirits rise to the Heavens,” he said.
With reporting by Wei Yong.
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time and has covered audience reactions since the company’s inception in 2006.