GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Ven. Deokwun thinks that Shen Yun Performing Arts is valuable to western Michigan. He attended the classical Chinese dance and music performance at the DeVos Performance Hall on Wednesday night, Feb. 12.
Shen Yun, based in New York, brings long-cherished values and performing arts to stages around the world. The 20 or so short song and dance programs present the essence of traditional China in legends, myths and also stories from modern times.
Venerable Deokwun Russell Pitts is head of the Grand Rapids Buddhist Temple and Zen Center and thinks that western Michigan would benefit from exposure to other cultures. As the community “grows and becomes more diverse, I think we need to bring in more cultural events like that, that show parts of our community,” he said.
Ven. Deokwun was impressed by Shen Yun’s performers. First, he felt the music and dance were exceptional. “The dancers were very accomplished, lots of precision, lots of training,” he said.
Also, he felt the production elements like the animated backdrop were authentically Chinese. These high technology backdrops brings the audience to vast open grasslands in one dance to the stately elegance of Tang Dynasty pavilions in another, and from heaven to earth, states the company’s website.
Ven. Deokwun thought that Shen Yun’s mission was important—bringing back traditional culture. He found it fascinating that Shen Yun, a current yet traditional spiritual practice, was depicted in the program because these performances would not be allowed in communist China.
Falun Gong, a group who practice truthfulness, compassion and forbearance, are currently persecuted in China, and Shen Yun cannot perform there.
In sum, Ven. Deokwun would recommend Shen Yun to anyone who had “particular interest in Asian culture, and anyone who wants to see a really good dance because the dance was really extravagant.”
Reporting by Valerie Avore and Sharon Kilarski
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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.