HOLLYWOOD, Calif.—After attending the Sunday matinee of Shen Yun Performing Arts World Company on Jan. 25, Dr. Andrea Silverman, a retired psychologist, has seen the acclaimed classical Chinese dance and musical performance a total of three times.
“We brought six grandchildren last year, and I brought three more grandchildren and four parents this year. We all enjoyed it,” she said.
Dr. Silverman said she kept coming back because of the beauty and the spiritual messages in the performance.
New York-based Shen Yun was founded in 2006 by leading classical Chinese artists with a mission to introduce the world to the genuine, divinely inspired culture of China. The performing arts company has since become a global phenomenon, touching the hearts of millions.
According to the Shen Yun website, “Through the universal language of music and dance, Shen Yun weaves a wondrous tapestry of heavenly realms, ancient legends, and modern heroic tales, taking you on a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese culture. Its stunning beauty and tremendous energy leave audiences uplifted and inspired.”
For Dr. Silverman, the show offered much more than a mere day’s worth of entertainment.
“I think it’s wonderful what Shen Yun is doing to bring a message of love and peace and compassion and healing,” she said. “I’m so impressed.”
Dr. Silverman said the traditional stories of good triumphing over evil that were expressed through the dancing left her with a feeling of hope, especially for the current situation in China. Even though Shen Yun cannot be seen in China today because of oppressive communist rule, she said the beautiful performances could plant a seed that may inspire a change.
“Forcing atheism upon society, the Chinese Communist Party has for decades launched various campaigns—most notably the Cultural Revolution—to destroy not only cultural sites, temples, and relics, but also the Chinese people’s belief in virtue and faith in the divine,” states the Shen Yun website.
Shen Yun seeks to revive this faith and these virtues, “such as compassion, propriety, justice, filial piety, and respect for the divine—values that are the essence of traditional Chinese culture.”
A Message of Truth
Kirk Waight, an electrician, said the messages behind the stories were relevant to worldwide current events and history and were very precious, with loving and peaceful messages. He hoped people, especially young people, could heed history’s lessons and seek out the truth for themselves, not just assuming it will be brought to them.
“It’s very important to see the truth in what is going on and not just fear and the misconceptions and the lies that are brought to us every day,” he said.
In general, Mr. Waight was inspired by the performance.
“It was wonderful,” he said. “The choreography was incredible, and the costumes were beautiful.”
Mr. Waight was also struck by the music of Shen Yun, saying it made him feel “very much alive.”
“The music was terrific. It’s a world-class orchestra,” he said. “The people are from all over, and obviously they were picked because they were top performers.”
“A Shen Yun performance features the world’s foremost classically trained dancers, a unique orchestra blending East and West, and dazzling animated backdrops—together creating one spectacular performance,” says the website.
Jerry Pacific, who owns a business in the food industry, thought Shen Yun was a wonderful introduction into Chinese culture.
“I think it’s fantastic,” he said. “It’s a great exposition of ancient culture and what some of the common struggles today are.”
Mr. Pacific said he and his wife and daughter all enjoyed the show immensely. He would recommend Shen Yun to friends and family and bring other people with him to see the show next season.
Reporting by Jenny Liu, Michael Ye, Jane Yang, and Sarah Le
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.
Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reaction since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.