HOUSTON—Seeing Shen Yun perform was on one man’s bucket list. “I travel to Houston quite often, and every year I wanted to see the show, and finally after probably 10 years of waiting for this show, finally my wish came true,” said Camilo Martinez, an administrator for the Valley View Independent School District in Texas. It’s one of the best school districts in the country, according to USA Today.
Shen Yun is “one of my bucket list items. I’m simply amazed and delighted with all the performances already,” Mr. Martinez said, at intermission of Shen Yun Performing Arts on Dec. 29. He brought his wife, Maggie. “I’m simply amazed, and this is a splendid, splendid performance.”
Halfway through the performance, he said his takeaway was remembering to value life.
“We need to know to value life and take advantage when you’re here on the planet Earth,” he said. “It’s a universal piece. All of us struggle here on earth on finding nirvana, peace in heaven.”
Chris Howard, CEO of a software company, had also wanted to see Shen Yun for years before he made it. Mr. Howard said he marveled at how classical Chinese dance was “very beautiful, very flowing, calm, also full of emotion, and spirituality.”
The spirituality of traditional Chinese culture led to personal reflection for some audience members.
New York-based Shen Yun presents a night of music and dance, of traditional Chinese arts and a display of China’s 5,000-year history. At the Jones Hall December 29, some audience members took messages of universality.
“I think everybody feels better about themselves, and feel better when they dance. You feel more pure,” said Mark Griggs, president of a construction company, who attended a performance with his mother.
The issue of losing touch with old traditions is universal, according to Mr. Griggs. He said he thought it was excellent that Shen Yun’s mission is to revive Chinese civilization.
“They’re wanting to get back to their roots, which is basically like everybody around the world. That’s what I’m seeing,” Mr. Griggs said.
Sabina Lalani, a neuroscience student, said the meaning she saw was relevant to all cultures.
In particular, baritone Qu Yue’s song spoke to her and her mother. To her, it was about “how you come to this world and how you’ve come many times before, but this is your last chance to kind of get it right … You came to the world today to do something.”
It was a happy and exciting experience, she said. Exhilarating, “because there are little tokens of magic that happen behind the scenes that you don’t really notice the entire time, but they pop up here and there and makes you really excited to see what the next one’s going to bring.”
Orlando Cardenas, CEO of an engineering company, was happy to see such a diverse cultural performance and felt the history was the crucial point. “History is very important for understanding each other’s culture.” It allows you to appreciate that culture, he said.
Becky Park, painter and retired artist, said she saw “a connection with the physical world, the world of nature, and how that plays into our spirit of life and our expression of life.”
“You see this in the performances tonight through the colors and the dances that seem to represent the different seasons and the different landscapes,” Mrs. Park said. She attended Shen Yun with her husband Brian, an engineer who works with aerospace, medical, oil, and virtual reality industries.
“The spiritual message is very interesting, because you think of China as essentially being a Communist country but what we’re seeing here is a spiritual country with a long spiritual history and in that sense it’s very interesting and new to me, so it’s good to see this,” he said. “I’m enjoying it.”
“I think that essentially the universal spirit is with us all whether we come from this country or any country, we all have the same universal spirit looking after us and guiding us, and looking for a better growth in terms of our personal self,” Mr. Park said.
Reporting by NTD Television, Sherry Dong, Sarah Guo, and Catherine Yang
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.