Retired Marine:’Forgiveness and Compassion’ in Shen Yun

January 4, 2015

SAN JOSE, Calif.—For Marvin Ewing, the dance pieces in Shen Yun Performing Arts display the compassion our world needs today.

Mr. Ewing, a compliance manager and retired Marine, attended Shen Yun with a friend at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts on the afternoon of Jan. 3.

“I thought it was fantastic, beautiful. Particularly some of the magical scenes, the magic brush—I thought it was very well done, just beautiful. I’ve never seen anything like it before,” he said. “I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

With its world-famous performances of classical Chinese dance and music, New York-based Shen Yun aims to revive China’s rich 5,000-year-old history and culture. Each performance features dazzling choreography, a live orchestra, and stories and legends told through dance.

Mr. Ewing was moved by the dance piece The Power of Compassion, which tells of an injustice taking place in modern China—the persecution of Falun Gong, a traditional meditation discipline based on truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.

“Compassion, I think that’s something that we’re lacking,” he said. “I think as the years go by, we become more and more self-centered, and we don’t even know who our neighbors are, for the most part.”

The dance depicts a scene in which kindness overcomes oppression. Mr. Ewing said that as a Christian, compassion and forgiveness are important to him.

“I am a very spiritual person; I believe God interacts with all of us in various ways. Sometimes we don’t recognize it, but when you just look at the beauty all around you, the fact that we’re here and breathing, and we’re intelligent, we design things, we create things—this show is an example of God’s interaction,” he said. “So I think that aspect of the performance was really powerful.”

Shen Yun also has dance pieces that bring ancient legends to life. Mr. Ewing enjoyed The Fable of the Magic Brush, the story of a painter who receives a magical brush that can bring paintings to life.

“I’ve always been fascinated by the [Chinese] culture,” he said. “I love the culture and I just enjoy learning about the history.”

According to Shen Yun’s website, classical Chinese dance “entails systematic training in movements and postures, as well as very difficult jumping and tumbling techniques.”

Mr. Ewing admired “the combination of dance and athleticism,” as well as the beauty of the dance Sleeves of Grace, which makes use of long, ribbon-like “water sleeves.”

“I’m hooked now, so it’s going to become a tradition with me, I think,” he said.

Reporting by Abraham Thompson and Sally Appert

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit

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.