NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.—Edwin Roman and his wife had waited nearly six years, but they finally made it to see Shen Yun Performing Arts at the matinee performance showing at the State Theatre New Jersey.
A “very outstanding show,” said Roman, a physician, who has treated a lot of ballet dancers in the past.
Through music and dance, Shen Yun presents a panoramic view of China’s long history, with dance stories of heroic feats, battles, and cultural traditions imbued with moral or spiritual values.
“I like the colors, I like the preparation of these athletes—it is unbelievable,” Roman said. He also expressed appreciation for Shen Yun’s mission of reviving “China before communism.”
“We have to go back to our spirituality. [Shen Yun is] trying to bring back spirituality from [the] 5,000 years that Chinese people have enjoyed and then, it is being persecuted now,” Roman said.
Roman is referring to the persecution in China of Falun Dafa, an ancient, peaceful spiritual discipline based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.
“I love [the fact] that the conductor is a female. The musicians are unbelievable also,” he said.
Shen Yun’s orchestra is unique in that it is a harmonious blend of traditional Chinese instruments and classical Western instruments.
“The whole music set up—I liked the [pipa] mandolin and the harp. I loved the timpani, the lady who was playing the timpani, the violins … everything is harmonious,” he said.
Spirituality is the foundation of ancient Chinese society. The ancient Chinese believed that their culture was bequeathed by the gods. They believed that deities and gods once existed harmoniously with mortal beings.
Roman said that he enjoyed the spiritual aspect of Shen Yun.
“I am a very spiritual person as well. I have studied the history of Chinese culture, and I liked the incorporation of that into the show.
“It was very, very special, very particular, and it is something we need these days, because with all the things that have been happening worldwide, we need spirituality, and we need to go back into our roots,” he said.
Roman said he believes Shen Yun has been successful in reviving the spirituality in Chinese culture.
“[Shen Yun] did very well, because, with everything that is happening in this society, part of the problem that we have is the division and fragmentation in society and racism. And one of the things [Shen Yun] is trying to show is that we are all human beings. We all have the same interests … we share the same beliefs in spirituality,” he said.
‘There’s a Peacefulness, There’s a Soulfulness’
Lisel Perselay, a retired AT&T sales director, and her husband were also in the audience
“Outstanding! Outstanding!” Mrs. Perselay said describing the quality of Shen Yun’s performers.
“It’s the grace and the beauty and the warmth that you see in the faces of the dancers … there’s a peacefulness, there’s a soulfulness—I just love it,” she said.
Commenting on the piece that portrays the persecution of Falun Dafa, Perselay said, “It does touch my heart, and especially, I feel so much for the unjustness of the persecution of anyone for their religious beliefs or anything else.”
She added that Shen Yun brings so value in that it teaches China’s history and gives people an opportunity to appreciate it.
Reporting by Weiyong Zhu, Sherry Dong, and Diane Cordemans.