ST. LOUIS—Shen Yun “transports us from where we are at here to China and gets us involved in the performance itself, so I find it very interactive,” said Ray Lord, after seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts with his wife, Maryann, on Feb. 15 at the Peabody Opera House.
Shen Yun’s mission is to revive China’s 5,000 years of civilization, and that fact keeps drawing the Lords back.
Mr. and Mrs. Lord, who like traditional cultures, have attended New York-based Shen Yun every year that it performs in St. Louis—four times so far.
“The way they did the show tonight is different than anything we’ve seen before,” Mr. Lord said. “It kept our attention the whole way through. It was really exciting.”
Mr. Lord is with Lord Consultants, specializing in business consulting with Fortune 500 companies.
He feels that American culture has lost something that traditional cultures “still embrace like closeness of family, truthfulness, honesty, it just—I guess, professionalism,” he said.
Each of the 20 or so songs and dances in the program displays different customs or the rich and varied depth of Chinese legends, myths and actual history through classical Chinese dance. Classical Chinese dance is an elaborate system developed over hundreds of years, and Shen Yun dancers hold to the age-old practice of training.
“Each and every performer in the cast is excellent,” Mr. Lord said. “They’re very professional.”
He was amazed by the choreography, and the digital backdrops that interact with the performers: “I can only imagine what goes on behind the scenes to put on a production like this. I imagine there’s a lot of hours and training and practice that goes into it, but it all came together beautifully tonight.”
The Lords revere traditional culture, partly because Mrs. Lord is Filipino and her parents live with them.
Although Shen Yun embraces traditional culture, China no longer does. Since the Cultural Revolution in China, the communist regime has undermined and deliberately destroyed traditions and values. In fact, Shen Yun is not allowed to perform there.
This information shocked Mr. Lord: “I didn’t know that. That’s what’s shocking for me. So you can do these performances anywhere else in the world, but in China, it’s not allowed. That’s what I find really strange.”
“Wouldn’t China want to embrace the traditions of the Chinese culture? … I just don’t understand that. To me, I’d think they would be so proud to put this on display for all the world to know that this is their culture. This is their heritage. You have to go outside of the country to show off this. I don’t understand that,” Mr. Lord further explained.
“To me that’s a disgrace. I think the Chinese government should really re-evaluate their situation because it’s detrimental to the Chinese people and to their heritage and really to showing off the qualities they have to the rest of the world. Thank God you have a chance to go around and show this to everyone,” he said.
Overall, Mr. Lord thinks Shen Yun’s mission is excellent. Given the couples love of traditional culture, “it’s very seldom you get an opportunity to see it in this fashion. So we wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
Reporting by Stacey Tang and Sharon Kilarski
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.
The 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.