WASHINGTON—Burton Wides, a lawyer in Washington, D.C., loves Shen Yun Performing Arts. He has seen the performance for five years now.
“Each time it’s different. Each time I enjoy it just as much,” Mr. Wides said at the Kennedy Center Opera House on Feb. 20. “Every time I bring people. I just brought two people for the first time, [and] they find it incredible. It’s such a beautiful show.”
New York-based Shen Yun’s undertaking—to revive the traditional Chinese culture—is so important because it brings to light issues most people know nothing about, according to Mr. Wides.
For one, it breathes life into the 5,000 years of traditions from ancient China. These are art forms and spiritual beliefs that had been nearly quashed under the communist regime. Shen Yun shows that “the diverse spiritual traditions and ethnic traditions still survive,” he said.
Moreover, the performance is telling the truth so people around the world have an alternative to the Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda, Mr. Wides explained.
He took the example of Falun Gong, a spiritual meditation practice that originated in China in 1992. The practice teaches truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance, but has been persecuted in China since 1999 by the regime.
In Shen Yun, the stories touch on both ancient and modern day China, and even incorporates stories about Falun Gong today. In this way, people have “stories about it being a peaceful way of faith and morality,” Mr. Wides said.
This was important to him because it is the truth of the matter, and it presents universal truths.
“I believe the best values of humanity are the same for good people everywhere in terms of kindness, compassion, and truth, which are certainly the values that Falun Gong preaches,” Mr. Wides said.
He appreciated the tremendous impact Shen Yun must have, with its four equally sized companies touring the globe simultaneously, in showing the real story of China.
“That’s amazing that they do that,” he said.
Reporting by NTD Television and Catherine Yang
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.