FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.—The Shen Yun Performing Arts World Company’s Florida show was mesmerizing for Gabriel Osceola, secretary of the Tribal Council of the Miccosukee Tribe of Florida.
“I’m just very fortunate to have seen such a show,” said Mr. Osceola. “I’ve never seen the Asian culture up close and personal. So this is my first time actually watching it. It is, was mesmerizing,” he said after the performance.
Mr. Osceola attended Shen Yun’s inaugural performance on Friday Dec. 26 at the Au-Rene Theatre, Broward Center for the Performing Arts with Jennifer and Glenn Prieto.
Mr. Osceola deeply appreciated the traditional Chinese music played at the show. He was overwhelmed and moved during the erhu solo performance. The erhu is one of the many traditional Chinese musical instruments used during Shen Yun’s live orchestral performances.
“I got watery-eyed. Teary that’s all … I could almost feel the sense of sorrow there [when] she was playing,” he said.
According to the Shen Yun Performing Arts’ website, “While each of the Chinese instruments differs greatly in character, their interactions produce euphonious sounds that may surprise the listener. In fact, the emotions that these instruments are capable of invoking are as refined and subtle as they are complex.”
“Traditional Chinese music emphasizes the expression of inner feelings—the ancients always used musical instruments to relate their states of mind,” the website states.
“I just came in to experience, like a learning experience. I’m glad to have come out and checked it out,” he said. Mr. Osceola is from the native community of the Miccosukee Tribe; he stated that he would surely share his experiences back home.
Accompanying him was Jennifer Prieto, professor of psychology from Miami Dade College, who felt the entire show was full of spectacular energy. “I thoroughly enjoyed it. The emotions were there. You can feel it. You can sense it. The energy was spectacular,” she said.
She felt that she could relate to the traditional Chinese stories and their themes, and to the idea that good is rewarded and evil is punished.
“Chinese culture is so divine, so spiritual. You always have the sense of God. Good and evil,” she said. Mrs. Prieto said regardless of how many obstacles “come your way if you are consistent and you are a believer in good, it always triumphs.”
Mrs. Prieto shared how important she felt it is to keep the old traditions and culture alive. She said that “we need to stay true to our culture regardless of where we are from.”
Meanwhile, Mrs. Prieto’s husband, Mr. Glenn Prieto, highly appreciated Shen Yun’s musical performances that bring alive five millennia of culture and traditions.
For Mr. Prieto, Chinese culture and tradition has discipline as the core foundation. He praised and felt the inherent discipline depicted in the dance performances. He felt the discipline in the dance, discipline in the whole of the movements. “It’s just discipline when I think of Chinese traditions,” Mr. Prieto said.
Shen Yun states on its website that “Shen Yun cannot be seen in China today, where traditional culture has been nearly lost. Yet Shen Yun—a non-profit organization—has become an international phenomenon, bringing the wonders of ancient Chinese culture to millions across the globe.”
Mrs. Prieto, who was unaware of this fact and said, “I wasn’t up to date with that information. So, it’s great that Asians, Chinese, could see it here and enjoy it, and the rest of us, we, can actually learn from that—and again not lose that. The identity of Chinese people!”
“We know that the Chinese culture is so rich. It’s got so much history and it’s incredible history,” she said.
“I wish that other culture would follow along because I think we are losing touch of our ancestors. Even basic things that you know may even be minute for modern society right now. It’s very special and we need to carry it. We need to keep it alive,” Mrs. Prieto added.
Reporting by Jada Yeung and Arshdeep Sarao
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. 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 reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.