LOUISVILLE, Ky.— Shen Yun can move people, from high school students to retirees, to try to be better human beings.
In reviving the traditional performing arts of China, Shen Yun Performing Arts revives the philosophy and values of ancient China at the same time.
Long considered the Celestial Kingdom where heaven, earth, and humankind were seen as all connected, China traditionally cherished compassion, respect for one’s elders, truthfulness, and courage.
Shen Yun presents these values in 20 pieces, some in songs, but principally in dances. These take viewers from the Creator’s establishment of the culture through to present day China.
Sisters Brooke and Ashley Maupin-Quintel found the Shen Yun performance at The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts on Feb. 9 to be breathtaking.
“It just took my breath away. I’ve never seen anything like it. I saw it last year and it just keeps getting better every year. And just the music, and just the dance, and it was wonderful. No words to describe how beautiful it is,” said Ashley.
Her sister Brooke, also in high school, echoed her feelings: “I enjoyed every minute of it, and it always gets better and better. And we want to come back each year to see it because we know it’s like a different show, and so we enjoy learning all about the culture … It really is just absolutely breathtaking, and to know all the planning that goes into it and everything is just absolutely breathtaking. We love it.”
Ashley was interested the spirituality in the performance, and even possibly exploring it herself.
“It’s something to really take in, and it makes me want to learn about it more, and maybe practice it,” she said.
Nick Phillips, who works for UPS, was also seeing Shen Yun for the second time on Feb. 9, “and I’m still hooked from the first time,” he said.
He was not only curious about the new dances he’d see—since Shen Yun creates a completely new performance every season—but also the stories and their meanings.
He explained that the dances teach people “about traditional values like being truthful, being compassionate, tolerance, which I think is not … as prevalent nowadays, which is kind of sad.”
These values should be brought to the forefront, he said.
The performance was “definitely worthy of the name of Shen Yun, divinely inspired art,” he said.
Mr. Phillips brought newcomer Natalie Heinen, a system administrator at Norton Healthcare, who was inspired by the beauty of the show, and felt that a message of hope was being celebrated.
Also in the audience was retired truck driver Bill Crawford, who reflected on what he saw. He was glad to be reminded that the differences between cultures, religions, and philosophies are artificial, because they have the same essence: “doing right, doing well by other people.”
“If you treat other people right, you’re going to feel better about yourself,” he said. “And ultimately, that’s what it’s all about. Just feeling good about yourself and being able to walk upright through life,” he said.
He said that he needed to reflect on his own life now.
“I will do a little introspection and make sure I’ve got my head on straight. But I think, like I say, all people, all ethical people are not that far apart. And sometimes, it helps to be reminded of that, and I think the show did that admirably,” he said.
Reporting by NTD Television and Sharon Kilarski
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.