DAYTON, Ohio—As a birthday gift, Marcella Barrett brought her husband, Dan, to the Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company at the Mead Theatre.
Shen Yun takes the audience through 5,000 years of culture from ancient times to present by presenting beloved myths, legends and history. It does so with short story-based dance dramas.
“We love it,” said Ms. Barrett. “We saw it advertised on TV, and we couldn’t wait to come and see it.”
Mr. Barrett said he appreciated “all of the colors and the exquisite dancing. I know that what they are doing is very difficult, but they make it look so easy. It’s beautiful, beautiful performance.”
Ms. Barrett is an author and the president of Barrett Publishing which is co-owned by her husband’s company Spiritual Gifts TM, LLC Graphics. She had the distinction of being teacher of the year 2011-2012 in the Dayton Public Schools.
At the heart of Shen Yun is dance: classical Chinese dance and traditional folk dance. “Classical Chinese dance has its own training in basic skills, physical expression and postures, leaps, flips, spins and other difficult tumbling techniques, forming an extensive and independent dance system,” explains the Shen Yun website.
Each of the some 20 mini-dance and vocal programs are introduced in both English and Chinese by two bilingual emcees.
“It’s nice that they are introducing what’s going on ahead of time so we can understand it,” said Mr. Barrett.
Shen Yun tours the world each season showcasing the authentic traditional Chinese culture, which was almost completely destroyed under communist rule, particularly during the Cultural Revolution. Based in New York, Shen Yun has the freedom to express this culture to its fullest through the performing arts.
According to the program, “China was once known as the Divine Land, its glorious culture said to have been brought down from the heavens. But under the last 60 years of atheist communist rule, this divinely inspired culture has been almost completely destroyed.” Shen Yun’s mission is to revive true Chinese culture.
Prior to the performance, the Barretts were not aware of China traditional culture being rooted in spirituality. What Mr. Barrett takes away from seeing Shen Yun is learning about “all of the spirituality.” And, the message to him was “the peace and the balance of life,” and his wife whole heartily agreed.
Reporting by Ying Wan and Cat Rooney
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.