WASHINGTON—Tina Jackson entered the Kennedy Center Opera House to experience a culture of ages past, the 5,000 years of Chinese civilization. What she said she experienced was a feeling of “oneness.” The performance hadn’t just been enjoyable, but inspired motivation and commitment in Ms. Jackson.
“I got oneness … I got the message of uplifting. If we all work together we can get where we need to go,” said Ms. Jackson, who works for the Department of Homeland Security, after seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts.
The performance brought up many big ideas for Ms. Jackson. Self-betterment, benevolence, and harmony between heaven, earth, and humankind—these are all principles of the traditional Chinese culture that New York-based Shen Yun seeks to revive.
Ms. Jackson, who is interested in the Chinese culture, listed several things she liked.
For one, erhu virtuoso Xiaochun Qi’s performance was “really uplifting, inspiring, and motivating.”
“Motivated you to do what you want to do, be whoever you want to be. Be free-spirited!” she said. As the emcees explained, the ancients believed music had the power to heal. Much research today shows how music alters people’s moods.
Baritone Qu Yue also performed a solo that touched Ms. Jackson’s heart.
It reminded her “of strength, passion, and commitment” to his art, “which reminds me to be committed to what I want to do.”
“Those are the connections that I make. Commitment to my goals, and to what I aspire to do,” she said. Thinking more on the baritone’s performance, Ms. Jackson added that she was not only motivated to achieve her external goals, but to work on her inner self as well.
The song felt like it was “a connection to a higher being,” she said. “But also I like to internalize things that I look at for me, for what it means to me. And so for me, connection with a higher being for me is what I want to do, and where I want to go. So it also inspires and uplifts me in terms of what I feel I can do, and how God can help me or inspire me or uplift me to do what I want to do.”
What she wants is universal: “to be happy, to be free.”
“Mentally and spiritually, and emotionally to be free,” she said. That is what fulfills her in life, and that can only be achieved when there is a higher power, like God, to help you along the way, she said. Because “oftentimes, you think you are there, but you are not there.”
All of her understanding culminated throughout the performance, piece by piece in taking in the Chinese cultural experience, up to the finale.
In that piece, “I thought it brought everything together, symbolically,” she said. “I felt everyone got where they needed to go. Uplifted, they were motivated; they were one in that piece.
“I think for me, the whole performance, and the culture, and experience is about peace, about being happy, being inspired, and being at the level, whatever level that is, that the higher being has determined for you … It’s not a material thing; it’s an emotional, spiritual journey.”
Reporting by Sherry Dong and Catherine Yang
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.