VENICE, Fla.—There are some performances that change your perception of the world. Shen Yun is one of those performances.
For Lou Riccio, a retired business owner, and his wife, Anne, the Shen Yun performance at the Venice Performing Arts Center on Feb. 6 was like a rebirth of Chinese culture.
Mr. Riccio said the performance gave him a “better understanding of the Chinese civilization and the history of China—and not what we see in the news.”
“A lot of people don’t look very highly on China right now because of the persecution [of Falun Gong] and how they’re treating their people. But when people see this, they know that China has a beautiful history, a beautiful history. I just love it,” Mr. Riccio said.
Shen Yun Performing Arts is based in New York and was founded in 2006 with the mission to revive 5,000 years of divinely inspired Chinese culture. Over the past 10 years, Shen Yun has taken the world by storm and introduced the beauty of traditional Chinese culture to millions.
At the core of Shen Yun performances is classical Chinese dance, an ancient art form with a history of thousands of years. Shen Yun uses dance as well as music and song to take audiences on a magical journey through China’s long and vast history.
“It was magnificent. The choreography was so wonderful,” Mrs. Riccio said after watching the performance.
“I will recommend this highly,” she said. “I’ve wanted to come for years. We were just able to come this time, and we’re so happy.”
The stories depicted in Shen Yun are set in time periods throughout China’s history, both ancient as well as contemporary times.
“I enjoyed the tradition brought back to life, the tradition that was lost with the persecution of [the Chinese people],” Mr. Riccio said.
Much of China’s rich and vast cultural heritage has been lost since Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution, which saw a systematic destruction of China’s traditional culture.
“I always thought very highly of the Chinese people. I know they’re a very old civilization, and I’m glad to see that that civilization was a very moral civilization, a very moral and righteous civilization. I enjoy that very much, and it’s just a shame what’s happened to China right now,” Mr. Riccio said.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Riccio expressed their appreciation of Shen Yun’s efforts to revive China’s traditional culture and to help people around the world become familiar with it.
“I think that’s wonderful. I think that’s a great testament to the steadiness of the Chinese people, that they still enjoy their tradition—and they do have a very beautiful and wonderful history. I enjoy that very much,” Mr. Riccio said.
Despite glowing reviews of Shen Yun around the world, the performance is currently unable to perform in China itself, as the ruling Communist Party continues to persecute those who seek to showcase China’s traditional culture and values.
“I’m sorry that the people of China cannot see this, that these wonderful performers, wonderful young people, have been banned from China by the atheistic government, and I pray that some day [the government] will come around to see the beauty of their tradition and invite this group … back to China so that all the people can see their history so vividly,” Mr. Riccio said.
Reporting by NTD Television and Jasper Fakkert
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.
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.