Shen Yun Exemplifies Compassion, Says University President

NEW YORK—Compassion, tolerance, and courage were among the themes exemplified in Shen Yun Performing Arts, said Dr. Robert Scott, president of Adelphi University on Long Island.

Dr. Scott and his son Mr. Ryan Scott, also an educator, attended a matinee performance of Shen Yun at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center on Jan. 11.

The father and son were thrilled to see the traditional Chinese culture revived by New York-based Shen Yun, and delightfully surprised at the use of technology to present it.

Ryan Scott attends a performance by Shen Yun at Lincoln Center on Jan. 11, 2015. (Gary Du/Epoch Times)
Ryan Scott attends a performance by Shen Yun at Lincoln Center on Jan. 11, 2015. (Gary Du/Epoch Times)

Chinese civilization is 5,000 years old, but with the help of a digital backdrop, dancers tumble in from screen to stage in ancient battles and the audience is transported through time and space.

“In the past, people could only imagine these happenings and here they are able to represent it with technology,” Dr. Scott said. “Here we’re seeing representation of stories, themes, values from thousands of years.”

His interest in Shen Yun’s revival of traditional Chinese culture is not just casual. Dr. Scott, a prolific professor of sociology and anthropology, has focused much of his work and speaking appearances on global affairs.

He is also a great patron of the arts. Since Dr. Scott became president of Adelphi University, the school has added a fine arts center and expanded cultural curriculum and programming.

“Trying to preserve and also present representations from ancient culture is very interesting, it’s very important, and it’s beautifully done.”
— Dr. Robert Scott, president, Adelphi University

Dr. Scott said he was particularly taken by the beauty of the bright colors and how the costumes were used as an extension of the dancers, accentuating their movements, as in the dance “Sleeves of Grace,” where female dancers don long, silken sleeves.

Shen Yun’s dancers perform classical Chinese dance, as well as ethnic and folk dances from China’s vast array of ethnic minority groups.

“I think that’s also part of the tradition and its a good thing to remember,” Dr. Scott said.

China was once known as the land of the divine, and at the heart of traditional Chinese culture is respect for the heavens, according to Shen Yun. But under 60-plus years of communist rule, the culture was all but lost in China. In 2006, Shen Yun was formed by artists from around the world to revive that culture.

Both father and son said the performance represented compassion and tolerance.

“Trying to preserve and also present representations from ancient culture is very interesting, it’s very important, and it’s beautifully done,” Dr. Scott said.

Reporting by Gary Du and Catherine Yang

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.