SEATTLE—Shen Yun Performing Arts made way to Seattle to take the stage for its fourth 2016 performance at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall. In the audience was John Pritchett, who attended on April 10 with his wife Ellen and friend Joyce Farley, who encouraged the Pritchetts to see Shen Yun.
“It was a great performance, just outstanding!!” said Mr. Pritchett, a general contractor. He and his wife own A Better Handyman and Contractor Service.
“For 5,000 years divine culture flourished in the land of China,” reads Shen Yun’s website. “Humanity’s treasure was nearly lost, but through breathtaking music and dance, Shen Yun is bringing back this glorious culture.”
The idea of divine culture piqued Mr. Pritchett’s interest. He said he was most touched by Shen Yun’s strong spiritual message. With his own strong belief in God and “the mission of doing what is right and doing the best we can,” Mr. Pritchett said Shen Yun’s focused messages of divinity, deep values of faith, and determination, struck profound chords within him.
“And so that was depicted, and it helped to fortify and strengthen my core values that I already hold,” he said. “It was just amazing. I’ve never seen a performance like this.”
Shen Yun’s story-based dances depict Chinese heritage through the generations, from different ethnicities and imperial courts to modern day stories of oppression under communist rule. Moreover, the dances seek to portray the inner link between humanity and the divine, as well as the virtues of Chinese civilization.
Tempered over thousands of years, classical Chinese dance embodies the essence of each Shen Yun performance.
“Everybody was doing their part exactly in the time they needed to do it, so it was very flowing of the hands, the gestures,” Mr. Pritchett said. “And I noticed the performers seemed genuinely happy, they smiled.”
“They were really living the part and enjoying it,” he added.
The company travels all around the globe each year, presenting traditional Chinese culture to millions. In Shen Yun Performing Arts, Mr. Pritchett saw the values of the traditional culture—like benevolence, justice, propriety, and wisdom—which he felt were universal principles that have stood the test of time.
He thought it was a basic component of Shen Yun, and that these are essential ideals of societies around the world.
“There are those who strive to hang on to what is true, he said, “and maintain moral values—greater values than just destruction and control—and try to find inner peace by serving each other and doing good things. It was just a tremendous message.”
He also noted the difference in how Shen Yun relies on modesty in getting its message out, as opposed to the modern trend of provocative entertainment.
“The modesty,” he said. “Look at how nicely they’re dressed. It didn’t take away from the message because of immodesty, and I felt that was very important.”
Mr. Pritchett concluded, simply: “It was very, very amazing.”
Reporting by Michael Green and Michael Fitzgerald
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.