NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.—History serves as a lesson for everyone who is willing to learn from it. Shen Yun Performing Arts is reviving the 5,000 years of Chinese culture that was destroyed by the Chinese Communist Party, but some audience members feel that America is facing the same fate.
“Just as Chinese culture is becoming a loss, America’s culture is becoming a loss. I think we’re all at risk of not remembering what we had and valued before. So it’s an important lesson across cultures,” said Scott Woska, a physician.
Shen Yun is based in New York, and it is dedicated to presenting China before communism to audiences around the world.
“I think it’s very vital. It’s valuable and vital for younger generations to understand what’s happening in China today and to have an appreciation of the lost culture,” Mr. Woska said.
Present-day China is already unrecognizable compared to China in the past. When people think of China, very few think of China’s glorious past.
“You don’t associate China with beauty and culture. It’s been destroyed,” said Sharon Woska, Mr. Woska’s wife.
China was once a place infused with spirituality. Whether it was Buddhism or Taoism, each dynasty had its own beliefs. Shen Yun is reflecting this pious atmosphere in its performance.
“It’s also inspirational because there’s the whole spiritual aspect of it. A long time ago, we all felt like we were divine beings, and people don’t feel like they are divine beings anymore. Just cattle,” said Mrs. Woska.
Aside from dances depicting the beauty of Chinese culture, Shen Yun also uses dance to tell the state of present-day China.
“Well, it’s very enlightening and bringing a lot of information that we didn’t know or weren’t so aware of,” Mr. Woska said.
One of the stories is about the persecution of Falun Gong. When the persecution started in 1999, media around the world believed the lies that the Chinese state media was broadcasting about what was happening. No one told the truth about the persecution. Today, Shen Yun is presenting the truth.
“I think people have to know more about the truth about what’s been happening in China with Falun Gong and all the spiritual practitioners they’re being tortured. We don’t know about this in America. And the media should be telling us,” said Mrs. Woska.
The couple brought their son, Jason, to the performance, and he shared his thoughts on Shen Yun.
“I really like the dancing and everything. It’s very cool and fun. It’s really beautiful,” he said.
Reporting by Frank Liang and Maria Han.
The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of Shen Yun Performing Arts. We have covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.