WASHINGTON, D.C.—Although only six years old, Matthew Kroenig’s daughter had long been interested in the history and culture of China.
“She’s always been interested in Chinese culture,” he said. “And she’s only 6, but I think she understands that the Chinese government is bad, but Chinese people are good.”
Mr. Kroenig had seen Shen Yun Performing Arts himself in previous years, but this year was able to attend with his daughter. On Jan. 29, Mr. Kroenig and his daughter enjoyed New York-based Shen Yun’s revival of 5,000 years of Chinese civilization at The Kennedy Center Opera House.
“Chinese civilization is amazing—thousands of years of civilization, and so really, really remarkable,” said Mr. Kroenig, the director of studies at the Atlantic Council and an influential political scientist.
Both father and daughter were impressed with the athleticism and energy of the performers, the scale of the production, and the depth of the culture.
“It was all fantastic,” he added. “The scale of the performance is remarkable—as well as the full orchestra, dozens of dancers, and 20 or so different dances and performances. So it’s really epic in scale.”
As an expert in national security strategy, Mr. Kroenig is well versed in matters of today’s China, and was impressed that Shen Yun touched on modern-day China in an artful way in its performance.
Under the ruling Chinese Communist Party, China’s 5,000 years of divinely inspired culture was all but destroyed. Shen Yun seeks to revive this culture, but is banned in China. Some of Shen Yun’s story-based dances are set in the modern day and show people in China who continue to live by traditional moral principles, with reverence for the divine.
“I think it’s important,” he said of Shen Yun’s presentation, “because I do see that the Chinese Communist Party as a major challenge to rules-based international order. I am a foreign policy expert, and I think a lot of people don’t appreciate that. And so I think the performance did a great job of, not in a heavy-handed way, but in a couple of the performances, warning out the dangers of living under a communist government.”
“I think it’s wonderful what they’re doing. And I have a lot of concerns about the Chinese Communist Party, and what it’s done to China, and what the threats [are] it poses to its neighbors and the global order. So I think getting a better government in China that respects the human rights of its people, and then allows traditional Chinese culture to flourish would be fantastic,” Mr. Kroenig said.
Reporting by Frank Liang.
The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of Shen Yun Performing Arts. We have covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.