FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.—Attorney Jeff Cohen and his wife, Sassy, an ER nurse settled back in their seats to enjoy the world’s premier classical Chinese dance company, Shen Yun Performing Arts.
Held at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts on Feb. 2, the newfound Shen Yun fans were experiencing the New York-based company’s vibrant presentation for the very first time.
“It was fascinating. I’ve never seen Chinese culture. I mean, the art culture was great,” Mr. Cohen said. “I didn’t realize it was so similar to classical music and dance that I’ve seen in other cultures. It’s just fascinating.”
Mr. Cohen also hadn’t realized that China’s 5,000-year-old cultural heritage went that far back.
“Within classical Chinese dance lie China’s rich cultural traditions, which allow its movements to be deeply expressive, such that the personalities and feelings of characters can be portrayed with unparalleled clarity,” the program book says. “It is therefore capable of depicting scenes from any time period, whether ancient or modern, Eastern or Western, in a strikingly vivid way.”
Mrs. Cohen especially enjoyed learning where modern day gymnastics came from. “Now I know it comes from China, and it’s beautiful,” she said.
“I loved the strong people and the Buddha … the peacefulness and freedom. I saw when the bad people came out, the sky was dark and it was like God and Heaven, the resurrection and the redemption. It was all there. It was just beautiful,” she said.
Mrs. Cohen said she was proud of the “very strong” and “very peaceful” divinely-inspired Chinese culture, confirmed by the exhilarating Shen Yun presentation.
But, Mr. Cohen said there was another side to consider: the oppression of Chinese citizens, “and that’s very sad. We don’t think any government should persecute any people,” he said.
“Never. People should all be born free,” Mrs. Cohen said.
She cried during the dance piece, The Steadfast Lotus, a dance that portrays a mother and daughter persecuted for their beliefs.
Mr. Cohen said. “It’s a sad, sad thing. My wife and I think that everybody should be able to be spiritual in their own way. And that it’s good for everybody.”
Mrs. Cohen said now that they are fans of Shen Yun, they would definitely be back next year to see the all-new production, only this time they would bring their 12-year-old son who is interested in Asian culture.
“It was a very happy and educational thing. We really enjoyed it,” Mr. Cohen said.
Reporting by Edie Bassen and Raiatea Tahana-Reese
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.