ESCONDIDO, Calif.—Noha Haviv was very impressed by Shen Yun Performing Arts’s comprehensive presentation of Chinese culture and civilization, from its historical origins to the present day and then encompassing the different ethnic regions across China.
Shen Yun presents 5,000 years of authentic Chinese traditional classical and folk dance and music.
Haviv had wanted to see Shen Yun for some time and heard it was coming to town.
Regardless of what happened, they were going to attend, she said. “It’s a once in a lifetime experience.”
Shen Yun left Haviv impressed. “It is breathtaking. The costumes. The colors are so vibrant and the choreography is so on point. Regardless of where you’re sitting, you get a great view.”
Haviv, a client services manager for a beauty company, watched the performance at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido.
Shen Yun illustrates how society moved away from the divine and now it is moving back, she said.
“Regardless of how much the culture keeps moving forward in the modern world, [Shen Yun] takes you back to this spirituality and the divine.”
The company’s mission is to revive China’s ancient culture that was virtually destroyed by the present communist regime.
Haviv felt that Shen Yun had succeeded in keeping China’s traditional culture alive.
Each year the company presents a whole new program, with changes to choreography, stories, music, and costumes.
“They did a great job … so they’re putting the effort to present it from a different perspective every year. Regardless of how many times you see it, it’s going always to be different,” Haviv said.
Shen Yun Is ‘Really Authentic’
Jim Owens was also in the audience with his daughter Julia. His wife had bought tickets to Shen Yun as a Christmas present, and he decided that despite the pandemic, he was going to attend.
“I love it,” said Owens, an aerospace engineer. “I actually had tears in my eyes a couple of times.”
“Just the truth of it. It’s so pure and it’s so natural. And you can tell that there’s some form of divinity coming through it, for sure—we can definitely relate. For me, it’s about the tradition. Even without words, you can see the beauty and the truth of it. It’s really authentic.”
Shen Yun presents two dances depicting today’s persecution of Falun Gong, a spiritual practice.
“I think it’s terrible. I think it’s awful,” said Owens. He knew a little about Falun Gong and suspected that such human abuses were happening in China.
Shen Yun ‘An Opportunity to Finally Get Out’
It was 9-year-old Alexis who had engineered a date with Shen Yun. She was interested in dance and the arts and had come with her family.
“It gave us an opportunity to finally get out and enjoy some entertainment,” said Michael Danforth, a family medicine physician. They were accompanied by Sharron Hart, an OB-GYN physician.
Danforth praised Shen Yun for bringing the world’s attention to the persecution being carried out in China.
“I think, from my perspective, because we’re a capitalist society, my biggest concern is that America is starting to lean towards more of a, like socialism, which is next to communism.
“And I don’t think people really have a good idea or understanding of what they’re getting themselves into. And they don’t understand what a great society that we have with our freedoms.
“And unfortunately, China is not that way. They have a ruling class, and it’s the Communist Party, and the rest of the people are subjugated to their tyranny,” he said.
Having been a dancer, Hart appreciated the classical dance movements.
“So, I’ve got the binoculars to look at their feet … watching their feet, their movements,” she explained. “To see the differences of how expressive they are with their feet. It’s very beautiful and wonderful.”
Reporting by Jack Bradley and Diane Cordemans.
The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of Shen Yun Performing Arts. We have covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.