WEST PALM BEACH, Florida–Gary Fallon felt he was given a glimpse into Chinese culture after experiencing Shen Yun Performing Arts. Fallon said the traditional dance and music performance is doing something important by reminding people that our traditions are slowly getting away from us.
“I think it’s showing us pieces from the past, which even in America with our very short couple hundred years, we forget what happened 100 years ago. So to see something that’s 1,000 or more years is very, very important,” Fallon said. “To keep those traditions going, especially [in] today’s young people, let alone people my age, so it’s really, I think, is very important.”
Fallon saw Shen Yun at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach, Florida, during the evening performance on April 16. The New York-based company is currently in the midst of its 2019 tour, where it is performing in sold-out performances around the globe.
Shen Yun was established back in 2006 with the mission to bring back traditional Chinese culture to the modern world. It does that through about 20 vignettes of dance, music, and stories that have drawn inspiration and context from historical events, literature, myths and legends, and real-life modern day events.
This aspect of Shen Yun was something Fallon, who is an adjunct college professor and has worked in broadcast media for about 40 years, enjoyed seeing and learning about.
“First of all, history, because we’re only a couple hundred years old. So [China’s] very history to me is why I came because [I] know that there was longevity and that there’s a lot of richness to that culture,” Fallon said. “And that it covers a lot of different areas in terms of whether it’s the water, whether it’s the land, [and] whether there’s great suspense to that.”
“I think there’s more appreciation with the Chinese because of that culture. And so to us, we wanted to get a little glimpse of Chinese culture tonight, and we are getting that,” he added.
He also commented on how the spiritual aspect of traditional Chinese culture is part of what makes Chinese culture rich.
“I think it’s very important for traditions to have the belief systems to come into the art form, and I think that is dramatically done here,” Fallon said.
“And especially when the artistic approach of taking it from where they’re onstage, and then they go to the moon, or they go to the water. To me, that’s very dramatic and it’s very artistic. And it really helps the overall presentation.”
China was once known as Shen Zhou, or Divine Land, a term which describes a time where mortals and deities co-existed, as well as an old belief that the divine transmitted a rich culture to the people of the earth, according to the company website.
Traditional Chinese culture is replete with virtues and values that stem from China’s semi-divine traditional culture. Concepts such as “respect the heavens to know one’s destiny,” and “man and nature must be in balance” gathered deep meaning over thousands of years of history. Moreover, the ancient Chinese were heavily influenced by Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism and sought to use these religious teachings to improve their moral character.
Overall, Fallon was impressed by the performance. He said, “I loved that it’s got a historical context to it, that I know that what I’m looking at comes from traditions from hundreds, thousands of years ago. So that is very meaningful to me.”
With reporting by Sally Sun.
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time and has covered audience reactions since the company’s inception in 2006.