THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.—Shen Yun Performing Arts took command of the stage at the Fred Kavli Theatre, Wednesday, Feb. 4. Among those in attendance were John Parker and Anne Doherty.
John Parker, a superior court judge, offered high praise for the night’s performance.
“I thought it was fantastic,” said Judge Parker. “It was really joyful.”
Established in 2006, New York-based Shen Yun is a non-profit organization working to bring 5,000 years of Chinese civilization to life through the performing arts. Having performed in front of millions of people across roughly 20 countries and 100 cities, Shen Yun is widely considered an international phenomenon.
Judge Parker was especially struck by one of the show’s positive messages. In the lyrics sung by Shen Yun’s award-winning vocalists, he said he saw a message of “how important it is to find truth and live it.”
There were other themes in the performance that Judge Parker could connect with.
“I was touched with the thought of the creator. And I was touched with the idea of freedom,” he said.
According to the Shen Yun website, “Through the universal language of music and dance, Shen Yun weaves a wondrous tapestry of heavenly realms, ancient legends, and modern heroic tales, taking you on a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese culture. Its stunning beauty and tremendous energy leave audiences uplifted and inspired.”
For Anne Doherty, a psychotherapist, watching Shen Yun brought her a feeling of childlike wonder.
“I felt like a little kid at Christmas—it was magical,” said Ms Doherty. “And each piece of it, the power and the beauty, and the grace of the dancers, was unbelievable.”
As the website states, “A Shen Yun performance features the world’s foremost classically trained dancers, a unique orchestra blending East and West, and dazzling animated backdrops—together creating one spectacular performance.”
Ms. Doherty also seemed to connect deeply with the show’s emphasis on reviving and safeguarding China’s traditional culture, even in the face of a hostile Chinese regime.
“Today, on the surface, the Chinese Communist Party claims to be reviving traditional Chinese culture,” the website explains. “But no matter how its efforts are framed, they are ineffectual. For the Chinese Communist Party removes the cultural essence of respect for the divine, thereby extracting the heart and soul of traditional Chinese culture. Shen Yun seeks to revive these virtues the world over.”
What Shen Yun is doing to revive such virtues is, as Ms. Doherty puts it, “a call to freedom.” And in her view, the struggle for freedom is something that everyone can relate to.
“I was looking at the nation of China,” she said in describing the performance, “but it’s the story of all humanity.”
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform around the world. Shen Yun’s World Company will perform in the Greater Los Angeles Area through February 8. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reaction since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.