The values expressed in the narratives of the performances resonated with Ms. Strauss, who comes from a family for which giving is a way of life.
“It’s amazing. It’s breathtaking. It’s not like anything I’ve ever seen before. They’re like air,” said Ms. Strauss at the Winspear Opera House on Jan. 7, accompanied by personal assistant Gregory Demler whose Christmas gift brought Ms. Strauss to the performance.
In an editorial in “The Torch” (2009), Ms. Strauss said that philanthropy has become something that connects the Waynes across generations. Her parents, Ernestine “Ernie” and the late Bradley Wayne, have been generous supporters of initiatives at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas since the 1980s, and they have instilled in Ms. Strauss and her two other siblings a strong social conscience and love of giving.
In Shen Yun, Ms. Strauss saw the theme of compassion.
“I think it’s something that we all need to be aware of, that it would help us because it’s about everybody. We all need to have more compassion,” said Ms. Strauss referring to the dance “The Steadfast Heart.” The dance depicts a young family—practitioners of the spiritual discipline Falun Gong—who maintain their courage and compassion in the midst of despair.
Ms. Strauss also expressed her thoughts about the company’s mission saying that while we know a lot about China, we are not aware of the nuances of its “incredible history and beauty.”
“I think the mission is so important. China is such an enormous part of this world, and we really don’t know enough about it,” said Ms. Strauss. She was also interested in the fact that Shen Yun is able to express what is going on in contemporary China.
Based in New York, Shen Yun Performing Arts was established in 2006 so as to revive the essence of Chinese culture—traditionally considered a divinely inspired civilization, according to the company’s website. Since the CCP is officially an atheist regime, it is afraid of the freedom of expression Shen Yun enjoys in the West.
Ms. Strauss also enjoyed the music of the Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra saying: “It’s so uplifting and it’s just so exciting.”
Reporting by Amy Hu and Kati Vereshaka
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.