CLAREMONT, Calif.—When it comes to acting and stage performance, actress Seema Rahmani knows a thing or two about presentation and professionalism, and she thinks Shen Yun Performing Arts is magnificent.
After watching Shen Yun at Pomona College on April 9, Ms. Rahmani expressed excitement over the way the New York-based company delivered difficult and powerful messages through song and dance.
“It is really amazing to see how the production has brought together [such] very strong messages to do with … our purposes here,” she said. The content of the performance, she said, successfully awakened people to who we really are and why we are here on earth.
“We are here as souls or beings from heaven,” she explained. “We are not here to get distracted or lost in the world of temporary friendship or temporary love … We are here actually to enlighten the level of this consciousness … before we move on to the next life.”
Shen Yun follows in the footsteps of ancient cultures and looks to the divine for inspiration. Throughout history, the arts have played a key role in bringing spiritual joy to artists and those who experienced it. By reviving traditional Chinese culture, Shen Yun’s performers tap into that ancient wisdom, connecting to the divine, and share that spiritual richness with their audiences.
“They did it quite gracefully and beautifully,” Ms. Rahmani said.
As an actress, writer, and director, Ms. Rahmani has appeared in several television shows, theater, and movies in India and the United States. One Indian director said the actress is an artist who cares about perfection because she does her scenes over even though she has already completed them.
In viewing Shen Yun, Ms. Rahmani tried to just experience the show rather than looking for perfection.
“I try to receive things artistically,” she said about how she looks at a performance. “I also allow for what that particular production has to offer, [to] present itself into my soul level, which this one did a lot,” she added.
She marveled at the soprano’s strong voice and her ability to hit a really high note. And she was moved by a musical soloist who played the Chinese instrument called an erhu, a two-stringed violin. “It can carry the human emotions in its music,” Ms. Rahmani said.
The erhu dates back more than 4,000 years and it has the ability to imitate sounds like chirping birds. Its melodies can also be tender and sorrowful, which triggers audiences’ emotions.
Ms. Rahmani also noted other aspects of the performances, which gave a different kind of message. “It is not just entertainment,” she said. “It lets us see what is going on in China, so that if people are so moved they [Shen Yun] might help. The performance helps us learn what the Chinese are struggling with in order to hold on to their beliefs.”
Shen Yun was established by adherents of a spiritual practice called Falun Gong, a discipline that relies on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. The mind, body, spirit practice, which has practitioners around the world, has been outlawed in China since 1999. Thousands of practitioners have been sentenced to prison and persecuted for practicing their beliefs.
The dance company has experienced strong resistance from the Chinese government and to this day is not permitted to perform in China. Some of the performances touch on these current circumstances in China.
Ms. Rahmani felt the different aspects of the entire performance helped to convey various messages.
“This particular production has kind of a dual, triple purpose, it is not just entertainment,” she said.
Reporting by NTD Television and Arleen Richards.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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.