DETROIT—Attorney Craig Pavlok had previously attended a Shen Yun performance, but thought since his daughters were learning the Chinese language, this would an excellent opportunity to begin giving them the experience of seeing some traditional Chinese culture.
Pavlok is an attorney for the grievance commission of the state of Michigan. He attended Shen Yun Performing Arts World Company’s evening performance on Jan. 18, 2020 at the Detroit Opera House with his wife and one of his daughters.
“I’ve gone to the performance with my wife,” Pavlok explained. “So I thought I’d bring least one of my daughters here today, so she could experience it. And then every year, we’re going to bring them back so that they can see more and more Chinese culture that they don’t get to see. So it’s been wonderful.”
“Experiencing the Chinese culture and listening to the Chinese language being spoken by Chinese individuals as well as the songs that they wouldn’t experience without having come, it’s invaluable,” he said.
As Shen Yun’s website explains, the New York-based company weaves together music and dance to bring alive heavenly realms, ancient legends, and modern heroic tales from 5,000 years of Chinese civilization.
“It’s amazing. It’s wonderful,” Pavlok said of the depiction of Chinese culture. “You know, history comes from every one of those stories. The performance mixes in a lot of the history and some of the humor with regard to just putting forward the story but also the lightheartedness of it. That was really—It’s a real treat.”
Pavlok spoke of the universal message he felt came through during the performance that was one of peace and joy among the world’s people and how we should all live together in harmony.
Shen Yun’s mission is to use the performing arts to revive the essence of Chinese culture, which, as the artists explain, was traditionally considered a divinely inspired civilization.
But in China, since the communist regime seized power in 1949, it has made every attempt to repress China’s ancient traditions and customs. Thus, currently, Shen Yun is not allowed to perform there.
Commenting on how Shen Yun cannot be seen in China today, Pavlok said, “That’s sad. But the fact that Shen Yun is being put on all throughout the world is an amazing thing. And it’s wonderful.”
“It shows the beauty of it throughout the world, which gives hope to those who are part of that culture—hope that maybe someday it’ll be able to be celebrated everywhere in the entire planet,” he said.
To the performers and the artistic director, Pavlok wanted to express his thanks.
“It was a wonderful, amazing performance and they are all truly gifted and talented people … I can’t even express words as to how incredible it is that this is done on a yearly basis every year, having changed it up. It’s gotta be incredibly difficult. But it is wonderful. And I hope that it continues,” he said.
He would tell his colleagues and friends that Shen Yun is truly rewarding. “It’s a wonderful show that everyone should see.”
With reporting by Nancy Ma and Andrew Darin.
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time and has covered audience reactions since the company’s inception in 2006.