MILWAUKEE—Not only had his knowledge about the world been enriched, but his curiosity about it had been piqued. “A little bit of China came to me,” said Steve Finn, who left the performance by New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts feeling that what he’d seen was so absolutely unique there was just nothing else like it.
Shen Yun presents China’s thousands-years-old traditional culture through stories and legends presented in dances, and songs sung in bel canto style, with a live orchestra accompanying.
From a husband and wife seeking immortality together in the dance “The Lady of the Moon” to the simple folk dances like a “Joyful Harvest,” Mr. Finn, a plumber, felt he learned something.
In America we know there a lot of different kinds of people, he said, but we don’t think that of China.
Mr. Finn was surprised that the spirituality was so clearly stated in song lyrics projected behind the singers. And, that, as well, the performance made clear that traditional faith has been suppressed by the communist regime.
Stated so frankly, he was caught off guard, he said. “That was the most surprising part of the show,” Mr. Finn said.
Since the communist regime took power in 1949, the party has engineered several campaigns to eradicate the Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucian ideals upon which the culture once rested.
If the bold spiritual statements surprised him, completely astonishing to him was the fact that Shen Yun has four companies touring simultaneously. He saw the performance on Feb. 20 at the Milwaukee Theatre.
When Mr. Finn considered the commitment that so many dancers make in endurance, in years of training, in postponing a regular life, and when he considered that each year the company creates an entirely new program, from choreography to music to costumes, he realized the whole venture was astounding.
Mr. Finn came to the performance with Maggie Morales, who works for the Social Security administration. For her the performance was not only beautiful but enlightening from start to finish.
“This was everything I hoped it would be,” she said.
Mr. Finn agreed: “I’ve been to shows where when you walk out you feel, ‘well, I can’t believe I paid all that money for that show.’ With this show I got a great deal, and if they were here tomorrow night I’d come back again to see them.”
Reporting by Maggie Xie and Sharon Kilarski
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.
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.