Shen Yun Minimizes the Pain of Grief-Stricken Family

April 25, 2016 7:35 pm Last Updated: April 26, 2016 8:53 pm

LOS ANGELES—It is safe to say that few of the 4,500 theatergoers at Microsoft Theater Sunday evening had experienced the degree of loss as that of Daniel Katzman and his wife, Sylvia.

Their son recently died.

They found, however, during this period of grief and deep reflection, comfort and hope after watching Shen Yun Performing Arts.

Mrs. Katzman said that the performance was mesmerizing and fascinating. “But what I found more insightful was the message because our son, our 21-year-old son, just passed away last week, and the message told me that my son is in a better place,” she said. “It was very meaningful to me. I’m leaving feeling better about my son’s death. It minimized the pain that I was going through, so it’s just an amazing, an amazing performance and very, very insightful.”

Mr. Katzman was also deeply struck by the performance during this difficult period of his life.

“The performance was, without exception, one of the finest I’ve ever seen and the message was what caught my attention,” he said. He noticed two messages from the performance. “One, there’s a commonality that all men and women desire freedom. That’s number one, freedom, and a belief in a supreme creator. That was very strong, and I found it to be a message for both my wife and I, who, again, lost our boy last week, and it gives me more than hope. I know that he’s in a much better place and I look to join him soon.”

Shen Yun is a New York-based, classical Chinese dance and music company that tours throughout the world to revive and share the resplendent beauty and rich values of traditional Chinese culture.

Each performance takes audiences on a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese civilization. Ancient myths and legends, as well as modern stories of courage and steadfast faith unfold before people’s eyes, while ethnic and folk dances warm their hearts and display China’s diverse cultural heritage.

Shen Yun’s unique, live orchestra combines both Eastern and Western sounds to accompany the dances, while colorful costumes, vibrant backdrops, and musical soloists enrich the experience.

Mr. and Mrs. Katzman both praised the performance.

“It’s fabulous,” she said, adding that it was top-notch. “I mean, beyond belief. Superb. Absolutely fascinating.”

“They’re superb,” he said. “Will I come again to see it? Of course. Absolutely.”

Traditional Chinese culture is deeply imbued with spirituality. Since ancient times, China was known as the “Celestial Kingdom,” a land where the divine and mortals coexisted, and Chinese people commonly believed that their culture—music, dance, art, dynastic attire, and even values—were gifts from the heavens.

Shen Yun brings these traditional beliefs to life, such as expressing reverence towards the heavens, benevolence, bravery, righteousness, and divine retribution for one’s actions.

The vocal soloists in the performance sing songs that are “brimming with philosophical reflection about human life and contain deep layers of meaning,” according to Shen Yun’s website. “The texts go beyond the boundaries of nation, race, and culture, and have been fondly received and appreciated the world over.”

Indeed, Mr. Katzman was touched by the sopranos’ songs.

“The message was so spot on for us, in particular, because of what’s happened. It was a very spiritual message,” he said. “I find it fascinating that the message that they were giving was so much like the message that we get through our Western religion. There is no difference. So again, there is a universality that there’s a creator and the creator is telling everybody the same thing.”

Despite achieving critical acclaim worldwide and selling out venues regularly, Shen Yun cannot perform in China because of the communist regime’s censorship and repression of artistic expression.

“That’s a shame because they don’t know what they’re missing!” said Mr. Katzman. “But I’m sure the masses of people [in China] yearn for the same freedom that we have been blessed with in this country. Thank God,” he added.

When Mr. and Mrs. Katzman learned that Shen Yun creates an entirely new production each year, they said they would return.

“Every year that it comes to LA, we’re going to see it because it’s really worthwhile watching it,” Mrs. Katzman said.

They both agreed that they got more than they expected from the performance.

Mr. Katzman finished by saying, “The performance was incredible. I’ll take this home with me, and I’ll be back.”

Reporting by NTD Television and Albert Roman

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.