CHICAGO—Kirk Strebel and his wife Wei Lei attended Shen Yun Performing Arts' show at the Civic Opera House on April 22. “I thought it was excellent. It’s wonderful, I really enjoyed it,” Mr. Strebel said.
New York-based Shen Yun tours the world in an attempt to revive the traditional performing arts of China, long lost due to the communist regime.
“The color is wonderful, it’s a feast for the eyes; it really is. It’s wonderful,” he said.
Wei Lei, originally from Mainland China has been in the U.S. for six years. She only learned about Shen Yun recently, but is also proud to see so many Chinese dancers onstage.
“It’s so pretty—the costumes… it’s so colorful and then the dancers are so wonderful,” she said.
She had read about the persecution of Falun Gong in newspapers. This evening she saw dancers depict some of these heart-gripping scenes. Shen Yun also addresses modern-day struggles within China. Two dances feature the suffering of Chinese people who are continuously oppressed for seeking freedom of belief.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a peaceful meditation practice based on the virtues of being honest, kind, and tolerant. The practice, with foundations in Buddhist and Daoist principles, has been brutally persecuted by the Chinese Communist Regime since 1999, after becoming overwhelmingly jealous of Falun Gong's popularity when a state survey estimated that there were between 70 and 100 million Chinese people partaking in the practice.
Wei Lei believes that Shen Yun may help China since the country should stop doing harm to its people.
“I think this is good for the nation,” she said.
Reporting by Valerie Avore and Sharon Kilarski.
Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company will perform at Chicago's Civic Opera House through April 24. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org