SANTA BARBARA, Calif.—Retired Col. Lee-Volker Cox loved the education that Shen Yun Performing Arts offered using the universally understood language of the arts. With wonder, he said he had never known about the ancient Chinese way of life until witnessing this revival on stage.
The evening performance on April 29 at the Granada Theatre inspired in him hope for the Chinese people and their ancient culture.
“What I’m taking home is the people, who obviously from these performances, have a strong feeling and love of life in the hereafter, a strong spirituality, a strong feeling of independence, and willingness to stand up for what’s right,” Mr. Cox said.
Mr. Cox has a legion of multifaceted talents, beginning with rising to the rank of Colonel in the United States Air Force. He is now a motivational speaker, professor at La Verne College, photographer, and author. All of these coalesce into a prism of understanding through which he enjoyed Shen Yun.
“To see that part of China, although [it’s] from before the cultural revolution, is really uplifting, and knowing that there is the seed of that still in the Chinese people, is very, very enlightening,” Mr. Cox said.
The website gives insight into how a company such as Shen Yun was formed. “Based in New York, Shen Yun Performing Arts, a non-profit, was established by Falun Dafa practitioners in 2006. The company’s mission is to use performing arts to revive the essence of Chinese culture—traditionally considered a divinely inspired civilization. Since the CCP is officially an atheist regime, it is afraid of the freedom of expression this arts company enjoys in the West.”
In today’s communist China, the persecution of the people who practice Falun Dafa is still ongoing.
“In the United States, it’s a part of China that we don’t hear much about. Growing up, you hear about China being a country that is not … being a communist country you don’t see the side of the belief in God,” he added.
Growing up during the Cold War period in history, which ran roughly from 1947 to 1991, Shen Yun brought an entirely new perspective to the Colonel.
“It brings another appreciation of the people and the traditions of China. I grew up in the middle of the Cold War when the United States and Russia were at odds, and China was always seen as a communist country that was opposed to the United States,” he said.
“There are still some tremendous challenges in China. There are not the freedoms that we have here in the United States,” he added, “To see and understand the joy and the inspiration of the people of China before the cultural revolution is very, very uplifting!”
An Uplifting View
Many of the vignettes touched the Colonel’s heart, he couldn’t pick just one.
“From the last scene of the drums, the power of the sound, to the scene where the monks are battling back, and holding on to their faith and triumphing, is just inspiring!”
Mr. Cox thought all the elements that make up the experience of Shen Yun’s were awe-inspiring.
“The performance has been fantastic. The colors are amazing. And the costumes that people are wearing, the moves, the acrobatics that the male dancers are doing, and the grace of the women dancers is just beautiful,” he said.
“I am very happy that I came. This all comes together in a beautiful performance,” he said, “Very awe-inspiring. This is very joyful! I love it!”
His gave a recommendation to others who want a magical and fantastic artistic adventure into ancient China.
“If you want to come to a very uplifting performance and see the side of China that very few people have ever known, this is the place to come and this is where you can see it,” Mr. Cox said.
Reporting by Marie-Paul Baxiu and Cheryl Casati