PROVIDENCE, R.I.—The Nydam family, Richard, Barbara, and Ellie, attended a matinee performance of Shen Yun Performing Arts in the William Saroyan Theater on Jan. 28, 2023, and came away from the performance with love in their hearts for the music and dance company’s performers.
Barbara said the dances were wonderful, especially “the smiles on everyone’s faces. It’s not just the dancing and the costumes. It’s the meaning behind all of them [the dances]: What they’re trying to express about China.”
She especially enjoyed “the historic type stories from China. I think those are really important.”
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts was founded in 2006 by a group of leading Chinese artists who had fled the persecution of China’s ruling communist party. Following the regime’s violent takeover of China in 1949, the country’s traditional culture underwent a period of mass destruction.
Barbara commented on the persecution still happening in China. “It continues and it’s very, very sad “and hoped she that “at all the dancers stand up to it.”
The Nydams saw the Touring Company, one of eight companies, under the auspices of Shen Yun, that now tour the globe each year.
Richard, a paramedic and EMS training and education specialist at UMass Medical Center, agreed. “I love the whole show. But, I agree, the oppression of communism [is happening now].” He was glad to see that some of that oppression was being shown in some of the dancers’ pieces.
Young Ellie liked all of the performances “because all of the facial expressions were really nice, and they showed the meanings of the show.”
Barbara respected the traditional values the performance demonstrated of China’s culture before communism: It’s “extremely important because everybody comes from a different part of the world, and Chinese culture and heritage [come] from thousands and thousands of years ago. It’s just amazing.” She thinks the culture should continue and everyone should become aware of it.
Richard said, “We have to be aware of everyone’s culture and it’s nice. It’s nice to bring that in and have a little bit more understanding.”
He noted an understanding of another’s culture helps him to understand better. “I think it helps with my job to understand where people come from, and whether they have oppressions or whatever it is, and why they’re here in the U.S. to make a better life for themselves.”
“To be free,” Barbara added.
Barbara also commented on the spiritual aspect of the performance. She felt a resonance with heavenly realms depicted. “I think once we leave this earth, that our souls go to heaven, [we] watch over our families.” She felt that one of many short dances showed that clearly.
Richard agreed that seeing Shen Yun was like a soul awakening, as if elevating to higher levels.
The Nydam family sent Shen Yun their best wishes. “We love you. Keep up all the good work and fly high,” Barbara said.
Ellie chimed in: “We love you. You can do it. You have to be free.”
Talk Show Host Says Shen Yun Showed Beauty and Harmony in the Heavens
Radio host Phil Paleologos and his wife Celeste, who helps drug-addicted individuals find careers, were awed by Shen Yun.
Known as the “Morning Mayor,” Phil made a connection to the performance with his profession: “I’m in broadcasting. I’m a radio show host in the morning. I wake up people the same way Shen Yun has woken us up.”
Phil liked the beginning of the performance when “everything came from the heavens, and everyone was happy and there was beauty and harmony.”
He was inspired by many aspects of the performance: “the music, the dancing, the art, the performances. They lift the spirit and they bring in all the beauty; I hope that we can learn from this and imitate it.”
Celeste loved the music. “Oh, the musicians were fantastic, and I think was perfectly directed. It touched on everything.”
Phil loved the beauty of traditional culture that Shen Yun presented but that today’s communist regime has tried to take that away.
Speaking to the company, he said: “The art that you’ve brought forth here: I had no idea of the beauty of it. Thank you for doing that, opening up our hearts and our minds. It was fabulous. We’ll be here next year.”
Reporting by Mary Mann, Erin Fang and Yvonne Marcotte.
The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of Shen Yun Performing Arts. We have covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006. Creative Director of Shen Yun, Mr. Li Honghi, has recently published “Why There is Mankind” in various independent media.