PHILADELPHIA—Philadelphia has a long tradition of the arts. So it was no surprise that the audience reacted with enthusiasm and appreciation when they saw Shen Yun Performing Arts grace the stage at a packed Merriam Theater on May 9.
Chemist Claudia Lieberman, flush with excitement at the end of the show, was among those in attendance.
“Oh it was an amazing show,” she said. “Beautiful colors, beautiful movements, beautiful music—absolutely stunning. I loved it.”
Ms. Lieberman enjoyed the cultural features of Shen Yun, saying Chinese culture was amazing.
“The whole history is unbelievable,” she said. “Yes, it’s beautiful.”
Shen Yun began in 2006 in New York with a small group of overseas Chinese artists living in America, according to its website. Dedicated to restoring traditional Chinese culture, the group came together to fulfill their mission through the performing arts. Today Shen Yun has three full touring companies, each with a full dance troupe, award-winning classical singers, and virtuoso musicians making up full orchestras.
“A performance by Shen Yun is a presentation of traditional Chinese culture as it once was: a study in grace, wisdom, and the virtues distilled from the five millennia of Chinese civilization,” the Shen Yun website says.
Ms. Lieberman is originally from Romania and noted the contemporary scenes in Shen Yun which depict the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China today. According to Shen Yun’s website, “Falun Gong, also called Falun Dafa, is guided by the principles of ‘Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance.’ It has helped over a hundred million Chinese people understand and return to the essence of traditional Chinese culture—Confucian, Buddhist, and Taoist schools of thought.”
Yet, the website adds, the Chinese Communist Party has attempted to eradicate the group, with Falun Gong practitioners “spirit of compassion and tolerance” while holding firm to their beliefs “manifest the very essence of China’s 5,000-year-old divine culture.”
Ms. Lieberman could relate to those pieces and the depiction of police brutality, as Romania was under communist repression when she lived there.
“It’s very interesting that you cannot see this show in China, but you can see it here,” she said.
Ms. Lieberman said she would tell her friends about Shen Yun, and “to come over and see the show.”
Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world, with a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. The season concludes this month with performances in Honolulu and Buffalo.
For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.
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