KANSAS CITY, Mo.—The performance by Shen Yun “makes me think there is this eternal yearning of the human heart for the connection to the divine,” Lynne Wettig said.
The belief in the connection between humankind and heaven is the girding for traditional Chinese culture. It is also a guiding principle for Shen Yun Performing Arts.
Formed in 2006, the team of dancers, musicians, composers, designers, and choreographers follows the ancient tradition in which art was meant to strengthen our spiritual awareness.
Primarily achieved through story-based dances, Shen Yun presents as many facets of the 5,000 divinely bestowed culture as the little over two-hour performance will allow.
“I didn’t know how it would be broken up into different stories. Each one was a different story and that was fascinating to me, and it didn’t take that long but it told the whole story there,” said Mrs. Wettig, a retired French instructor at the university level. She was also the former publications director of Hillsdale College in Michigan.
The Creator was highlighted in the very opening dance, a piece that resonated with Edward Wettig, Lynn’s husband. “That impressed me; how that was so important and just overall the wonderful deep feeling we got from all of this,” he said. Mr. Wettig formerly owned Superior Printing Company in Leavensworth, Kansas.
The couple attended Shen Yun’s closing performance at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts on April 3.
“Very inspired,” said Mr. Wettig, impressed by how well the dancers were in tune with each other, and by the gorgeous, colorful, handmade costumes.
Mrs. Wettig emphasized that background screen “with its ever-changing gorgeous scenes” helped the couple to literally become part of each story.
She was amazed “at how figures would fly through the air on the screen, either coming closer to the stage or departing and then all of a sudden—voila!—a performer would literally step out of the screen onto the stage and begin dancing! We had never seen anything like it, and it added so much to the overall magical feeling that was created onstage,” she wrote in an email later.
In a way it was a literal representation of the connection between the human and the divine.
And for Mrs. Wettig that deep sense, which her husband had mentioned, came from recognizing a universality in faith, in that connection between the human and the divine. She was intrigued by the parallels between the traditional Chinese faith she saw onstage compared to her own. The vocabulary seemed the same, with words like Creator, divine, and even Satan being used in the song lyrics projected on backdrops behind the singers.
The meaning of the terms was essentially the same, she felt. And the performance also suggested that the world, as it progresses, seems to become ever more negative.
“Wow, I was really kind of amazed by that,” she said.
Mr. Wettig interjected when he heard his wife use the word “Satan.” Although evil may trying to take over, he is not succeeding, he said, as several of Shen Yun dances show.
And this may account for the wonderful, deep feeling Mr. Wettig was left with.
The last dance, called “Hope for the Future,” is set in China today. It contains the idea that we all come from heaven and by becoming good, can return.
“More unique than anything else we have ever experienced,” Mr. Wettig said.
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 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.