AARHUS, Denmark—Shen Yun Performing Arts presents a huge history—5,000 years of divinely inspired culture—and then it presents you a choice. How do you want to live your life?
That was Michael Kruse’s interpretation of the two and a half hour performance after seeing it at the Music House Aarhus on April 13, 2016.
Mr. Kruse, an associate partner for C.F. Møller, one of Scandinavia’s oldest and largest architectural practices, attended the performance with his wife Mette Skakkabhk, who is studying architecture.
His first impression of the performance was that it was really unique; subsequently, he was wholly impressed.
“I think putting history in a modern context is always inspiring,” he said. New York-based Shen Yun seeks to, through music and dance, show the authentic traditional Chinese culture that was once nearly lost.
“It explains so much culture of so many years, and also shows some strong messages—I think that’s very impressive, that the messages are really strong,” Mr. Kruse said.
“I think the message is like you have to be larger than life here, and that’s the difficult thing here, because it’s a much wider perspective,” he said.
Mr. Kruse said his culture was not as long as 5,000 years, so to see something as vast as what Shen Yun was presenting was something important. It opened up his perspective and gave him a new angle to look at.
One of the themes he and Ms. Skakkabhk thought was prevalent was spirituality and religion. There is a trend towards individualism in the West, the couple noted, and people are making their own choices about whether to believe, what to believe, and how.
It seemed different from what they saw on stage. On the one hand, modern day China, controlled by the communist regime, is strictly against any and all genuine spiritual faiths. On the other hand, they now have this representation of the traditional Chinese culture, which was permeated with spirituality completely.
In some of Shen Yun’s stories, characters can be seen making choices regarding their beliefs.
A child emperor waits for just the right time to take a firm stance in defending his throne from a power hungry but decorated general, and becomes one of China’s most illustrious emperors.
In a popular myth, kind-hearted and justice-seeking Chang’E rushes to the aid of a fallen fairy, and in doing so meets a Taoist immortal who gives her an elixir of immortality for her good deeds.
Faced with persecution in modern China, an elderly man holds steadfastly to his faith.
“We are all a part of the huge history and it’s always healthy to look at it in the big picture,” said Mr. Kruse. “I think, personally, we all have to be able to decide ourselves. I think that’s important because then you make humans stronger and respect each other.”
Reporting by Wenhua 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.