DETROIT, Mich.—Shen Yun Performing Arts continued on its mission to revive China’s five millennia of traditional culture as it left another audience in awe of the beauty and strength of its performers, and the message they brought to the stage.
“It is wonderful,” said Edwin Paul, the owner of a hair salon, who had come to see Shen Yun at the Detroit Opera House.
Shen Yun’s repertoire includes authentic classical and ethnic dances, but the dance that captured Edwin’s attention the most portrayed how “communism came and caused the [Chinese traditional culture] to die. Fascinating history,” he said.
Paul said that he had learned from Shen Yun that under communism “art, freedom, creativity … is disallowed.”
“So, the beauty of seeing the way things were, in the hope that they will become that way again … for everyone, it’s beautiful,” he said.
The colors were fascinating and uplifting, he added, and “because of the last two years with the [pandemic], many people have not been allowed to go to the movies and experience things on a large scale, only small television. To see the bright beautiful colors is wonderful.”
“I think [the backdrops] are amazing. I think it is beautiful art by itself and the way they have incorporated modern-day digital technology with some of the Gods coming from the skies, and then the way they come up and dance, it’s pretty amazing,” he said.
Shen Yun also includes solo performances by singers and instrumentalists. The Chinese lyrics of the songs are placed up high so the audience can read the English translation.
“I thought that was stunning because so many people, including myself, are struggling with various things because we have never seen [a pandemic] I don’t think in our lifetime … and the song had so much hope. It really made me think about a much Greater Spirit than how our small lives are, that there’s something much greater than the struggle we may go through today,” he added.
The performance is a “special treat for the human mind … [one could see] that people can live this way peacefully,” he said.
Fulfilling the Wish List
Kathleen and Greg Lozi recently moved to Detroit from New York, and going to see Shen Yun was something Kathleen has had on her wish list for the last two years. Kathleen, who is a production coordinator, said that seeing Shen Yun was a surprise for her birthday.
“I’m really excited to be actually here. It’s been amazing so far. I’m really excited to see the rest of it,” Kathleen said during the intermission.
“This has been really fun. We don’t really go to a lot of theater … but I’ve been very impressed,” her husband Greg, a project manager said. He enjoyed the stories, depicted by Shen Yun’s dancers, that reflected China’s history. “[A]ll of them have been really good,” he said.
The stories come from a well-spring of human experience over 5,000 years and include tales of dynastic warring, the power of morality, legends, and comical scenes.
Kathleen was touched by one of the dances that depicted the persecution of the followers of Falun Dafa, an ancient spiritual way based on the values of Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance.
“I think watching a father-daughter scenario, like having a very close relationship with my own father … was very sad. It touched you,” she said.
Shen Yun is “a must-see,” Kathleen added. “You have to experience it yourself because it’s so hard to describe until you really get to see it in person.”
Reporting by Nancy Ma, Michael Huang and Diane Cordemans.