LAS VEGAS—To look at the Hages, a beautiful and spiritual family of five who are ranchers in Central Nevada, one would never guess that part of their story begins in the former Soviet Union under a totalitarian, atheist regime.
But their story came full circle on Feb. 28, 2020, when they attended Shen Yun Performing Arts in Las Vegas, Nevada, and saw how the classical Chinese dance company is spreading awareness of the ravages of communism, which is still in effect in China today.
“I’m happy to see in a way that people getting that knowledge of freedom,” said Yelena Hage, mother of three, who is originally from Kazakhstan. “You know, and they could experience it. I hope maybe someday more people in China find out more about it, you know, and become free.”
Her husband, Wayne, who owns a cattle ranch, said “The [Shen Yun] performance was absolutely incredible. It was more than we ever imagined, the costumes were unbelievably beautiful, and bright and so well done. I mean the performance, the acrobatics, it’s incredible. It’s incredible that people can perform such, such beautiful, incredible dance routines, incredible acrobatic performances. All of it was phenomenal.”
“The role of the music, I thought it did really really well. I mean when you’re watching the show, you could just sit there and feel the energy from the performers, you knew what they were trying to convey, the message they were trying to convey. Everything was so well done.”
“The whole message that was conveyed, I mean the God and faith and the freedom from the tyranny of the communists—all of it was so real, and I don’t know how to describe it,” Wayne added.
New York-based Shen Yun‘s mission is to revive traditional Chinese culture, including its profoundly spiritual side. These artists are bringing back this culture from the brink of extinction. The Chinese Communist Party has for decades attempted to wipe it out, going so far as to persecute and torture innocent spiritual practitioners who wish to carry on China’s traditions.
“My wife here lived under communism in the Soviet Union. And so she knows what tyranny was like, and she knows what freedom is. Maybe she can describe it better.”
“One of those stories actually made me cry,” Yelena began. “I know it’s through the dance, but you can understand it very easily and what they’re trying to say. It really, I guess, touches the heart.”
Shen Yun’s performance consists of roughly 20 vignettes, some of which include scenes of believers exercising compassion and forgiveness toward those who persecute them, heavenly scenes, and even glimpses of the Creator, a long-held Chinese belief.
Yelena smiled and she said that the message she perceived from Shen Yun is a simple and profound one: “God is great.”
Her husband agreed.
“I thought it was very well done,” Wayne said, “and I think it’s a great message. You see the message of freedom, of faith in God, leading to freedom, versus the tyranny of the government. I thought it was a great message.”
“I’m happy to see in a way that people getting that knowledge of freedom,” Yelena said. “And they could experience it. I hope maybe someday more people in China find out more about it, you know, and become free.”
Wayne and Yelena wished the artists well and expressed their wish that more people can experience Shen Yun’s positive themes.
“And I hope they’re gonna continue doing it and it’s gonna be all around the world they’re going to spread this message,” Yelena said.
“We’ll definitely be back and see it again,” added Wayne.
With reporting by NTD Television and Brett Featherstone.
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.