CLEVELAND—“I think we see God in the beauty of things,” said David Ambrose, lead pastor at Heartland Community Church, after seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts World company on Feb. 1 at Cleveland’s State Theatre.
New York-based Shen Yun brings consummate beauty to the world as it explores 5,000 years of Chinese civilization and presents it to the world in a music and dance program. Both the songs and dance pieces are imbued with the values of a culture the Chinese traditionally held as semi-divine in its origin.
“It would be great if our world could experience the harmony and unity of humanity, if we could learn to all get along together, that would be incredible. It seems like we are always at odds and it’s a shame, because you miss the beauty of it all,” Pastor Ambrose said.
Shen Yun is “a good reminder to keep an open mind, to the way different cultures experience spirituality compared to our own experience of that, to give us a better understanding and tolerance of other people. I think that is very helpful,” he said.
Pastor Ambrose attended with his wife, Melody, his son Tyler who is studying Chinese and Tyler’s girlfriend, Rachel, who dances.
“The lotus dance, it made me like get all emotional and everything and I just love all the colors and culture. And it makes me want to visit actually,” said Rachel, a ballerina who also does tap, modern, and lyrical dancing.
“There are so many moving pieces, the costumes are incredible and the colors are outstanding,” said Pastor Ambrose.
Mrs. Ambrose also enjoyed the costumes. “I think it is absolutely gorgeous,” she said, and loved the fact that the dances were depicting China’s history, both ancient and contemporary.
“I want to go home and research the history of China, and the struggle that they are going through.”
The struggle she was referring is the repression of faith in China today, depicted in a few of the 20 or so dances. The Chinese communist party has sought to undermine traditional values during its 60 or so year regime.
In fact, Shen Yun cannot perform in China.
“I think it’s a shame that the people in China can’t experience this because, you know, it’s so much a part of their tradition and yet from what I understand they can’t experience this in their own country, and yet we have the freedom here to watch it. It’s just a privilege,” Pastor Ambrose said.
Pastor Ambrose would heartily recommend Shen Yun to his congregation: “I would say it is good for all of us to experience different cultures, to learn about different cultures and what people believe and then celebrate that. Celebrate the diversity in cultures.
Reporting by Teresa You 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.