Public Health Expert Feels ‘At One’ With Shen Yun

March 1, 2012 Updated: March 3, 2012

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.—”You cannot perform like that without passion, and it’s clear that these young people believe that what they’re doing is a mission or a calling, and I think their message is encouraging to all mankind—that regardless of what country you come from, or which continent you come from, we’re all one people,” said Dan Reimer acting chief operational officer for Arkansas Center for Health Improvement.

Mr. Reimer was in the audience at Robinson Music Hall on Feb. 28, being enriched by Shen Yun Performing Arts, which travels the world reviving 5,000 years of divinely-inspired Chinese culture after more than 60 years of communist rule in China nearly decimated this culture, according to the New York-based dance and music company’s website.

“It’s very touching, and I feel at one with these wonderful young people who are reaching out to us with a message of hope and joy,” said Mr. Reimer, who has worked with numerous cities in the United States, and the Southern African Republic known as Bophuthatswana.

Classical Chinese dance, grounded in traditional culture, is at the heart of a Shen Yun performance.

“Classical Chinese dance is a culture left to us by the ancients who came before us,” states Shen Yun’s website. “Its beauty should be riches shared by all of humanity, its purity should not be contaminated. Shen Yun Performing Arts’ dance style is built upon classical Chinese dance as a foundation, while also maintaining a number of ethnic and folk dances. This combination embodies Chinese people’s estheticism and ethnic character.”

“Alongside ballet,” it adds, “classical Chinese dance is one of the most comprehensive dance systems in the world.”

The dancers “were magnificent,” and showed precision, said Mr. Reimer.

The performance also includes colorful, handcrafted costumes, digital backdrops, and an orchestra that combines both classical Western and traditional Chinese instruments.

Mr. Reimer left Robinson Music Hall with profound spiritual insight. He said Shen Yun taught him about classical Chinese culture.

“It teaches us that they have a very deep belief in a creative being, which is remarkable—that it survived under the oppression of the communist regime, which did everything it could to squelch it,” he said. “And yet it remained dormant within the people and its spread all over the world now.”

Reporting by Selena Chen and Zachary Stieber.

Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, tours the world on a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company will perform three shows in Tampa, Florida, at The David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts on March 3-4.

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