ESCONDIDO, Calif.—”The show is extremely beautiful, not just the movements of the dance and the singing, but the message that is conveyed,” said Sarah Christ about Shen Yun Performing Arts.
“The one that was also most moving to me was the one about compassion, because as a human race, regardless of what country you live in, we can use more compassion as humankind,” she explained.
Not only did she feel impressed by the Shen Yun’s artistry, she was deeply moved by the spirituality of traditional Chinese culture, after seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts World Company’s performance at the California Center for the Arts on Feb. 20.
China was once known as the “Divine Land,” with the belief that its rich culture was a gift from the heavens. New York-based Shen Yun, formed by a group of overseas, leading Chinese artists in 2006, seeks to revive the divinely inspired culture of China through dance and music.
According to the Shen Yun website, “Sophisticated dance techniques, an orchestra joining instruments from both the East and West, beautiful costumes, and a stunning backdrop—this is Shen Yun at first glance.”
“But digging deeper, one discovers a sea of traditional Chinese culture. Mortals and divine beings merge on stage as one. Principles such as benevolence and justice, propriety and wisdom, respect for the heavens, and divine retribution, all come to life, washing over the audience,” explains the website.
Ms. Christ was touched by the artists’ embodiment of virtues such as compassion and kindness and simply helping other people depicted in The Power of Compassion , in which a group of Falun Dafa meditators are attacked by Chinese Communist Party policemen. While trying to arrest a young man, a police officer falls and hurts his knee. Rather than fleeing, one of the Falun Dafa meditators helps the resistant officer.
Falun Dafa is a traditional, spiritual meditation discipline. Its core principles are truthfulness, compassion and forbearance.
While people in other parts of the world freely practice Falun Dafa, practitioners in China still suffer from an ongoing persecution.
Accompanying Ms. Christ was Hass Sadeghi, a business attorney.
Mr. Sadegh was equally impressed and moved by Shen Yun’s performance. “The show is excellent. I like the message with the Falun Dafa undertone—very spiritual and focused,” said Mr. Sadeghi. “The undertone of the one dance they had—the Compassion, and having that sympathy for one fellow human being is something that I think it’s universal. The show is very elegant and graceful. I like that it has a culture infused in it as well. I’m very happy I came.”
Ms. Christ felt saddened that Shen Yun cannot be seen in China: “I didn’t realize in China that this message wasn’t allowed to be out in the open, and that makes me very sad. I feel it should be, because at the end of the day, we all interconnected. If we have compassion and love for each other, then as a whole, we will all be better for it.”
Retired Major Inspired and Intrigued by Shen Yun
Hal Angus, a retired U.S.Marine Corps Major, and his wife were captivated by the Shen Yun performance.
“It’s an outstanding show. Oh, I loved it. It was just amazing. I would recommend it to anyone,” said Maj. Angus.
A Shen Yun performance includes over 20 vignettes that transport the audience members on a journey through China’s culture and history, where myths and legends come to life, and virtues such as bravery, compassion, kindness, loyalty and perseverance are personified.
Maj. Angus was clearly inspired by the Chinese traditional culture demonstrated throughout the performance.
“Truth, compassion and tolerance. That’s what I really got from the show. I really think it is a universal message that we have to be compassionate toward everyone. It’s like the same type of concept that you pay it forward. You help someone and they help someone else and it just grows and grows that way,” he explained.
Maj. Angus felt the connection between the Chinese culture portrayed through the performance and his own beliefs: “I definitely felt that from the show, and I can relate to that in my own beliefs as well.”
After serving the country for almost 20 years, Maj. Angus saw the undertone of the oppression of freedom conveyed in the performance.
“I know the Red Beast obviously is depicting Communism, and freedoms can be taken away anytime. That’s why I did try to make sure that this country never has that problem, and hopefully other parts of the world remain to be free, or have a chance to be free,” he said.
Maj. Angus was not only delighted with the Chinese traditional culture shown throughout the performance, but he was also intrigued by it: “I’ve been all over the Far East, and enjoy history myself. Chinese civilization is one of the oldest civilizations out there, and I think there’s a lot to be learned.”
Reporting by NTD TV, Jan Yang, and Thanh Le
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reaction since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.