WASHINGTON—Dr. Bahiyyah Muhammad, assistant professor of criminology at Howard University, attended Shen Yun’s April 26 matinée show at the Kennedy Center. She was recently awarded the “Professor of the Year 2015” award, an award she also received in 2014.
Dr. Muhammad could finally see Shen Yun in Washington, D.C., a show that she missed one-and-half years ago. This year, her husband made certain that she did not miss Shen Yun.
“I do research on children and incarcerated parents, for whom truth and compassion are important,” said Dr. Muhammad.
“Every dance embodies traditional Chinese values. Ideals of loyalty, filial piety, and veneration for the divine are cherished and celebrated. Heroes are extolled for their compassion and tolerance as much as their courage or determination when facing adversity,” according to Shen Yun’s website.
Subtle, Not Forceful
Dr. Muhammad continued that Shen Yun is much more than just something one thinks about, “It touches ones heart. Once I saw the beauty in the performance, the women’s costumes, the graciousness of their moves and the way they dance, it allowed me to feel and understand the principles Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance. I truly felt them.”
“I have never experienced something so powerful, so subtle, yet not forceful. Something just very peaceful and serene, just like magic,” she said.
Not everyone may feel the same way, “You may understand something, while others may not. A lot of the times I think truthfulness is something easy, but it is just something I am able to see. It may be a battle in the eyes of others. So, be patient and help others to come to see the truth.”
“I think also a lot of what I saw today is going to take time to sink in because it is so powerful,” she said.
“It is like the lotus flower, which grows in a muddy or environment that is not beautiful, but becomes resilient, beautiful and sacred over time. I think the scenes are still lingering inside me and will take time to come out. It is just amazing,” she continued.
Shen Yun is “Phenomenal and life changing … It is a critical feeling, something that is in your mind, something that will continue to grow until your old age. It is something that is a legacy and it leaves something in you for the rest of your life,” said Dr. Muhammad.
Ms. Terry Hyman, a government contractor, and her daughter Rachel, an eighth grader, attended Shen Yun for the fourth time.
“It has become a tradition for us. Every Christmas I give her tickets for a Christmas present. She liked Shen Yun so much the first time, so we’ve kept coming,” said Ms. Hyman.
The values inherent in Shen Yun’s performance “are values that I try to teach Rachel. It’s all about being good to other people, honesty, sincerity and tradition,” she said.
Rachel remembers, especially one line, in her heart, sung by the Soprano, in the “A Song from the Ancestors.” She said, “‘The truth will be buried in lies’. I think this is really deep. It tells you that to survive one needs to hold on to faith. That is something I will remember.”
“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,” said Shen Yun on its website.
Mark, who works for the Securities and Exchange Commission as an auditor, and Marie, a retired management analyst who was employed by the Treasury, also attended Shen Yun’s matinée show on April 26.
Mark said, “The soprano’s song “A Legend from my Town” touched me the most. Not just the music, but also the lyrics … The message I got was that we are all destined to go to the same place … Fighting on earth by all of mankind is not necessary.”
Marie added her thoughts, “I think that the song talked about the end of this existence as we know it and a new era is dawning … It is important to be good despite all of the tribulations one suffers.”
She continued, “I liked what it said in “A Song from the Ancestors.” It is difficult to separate the truth from lies … But it is just as they said, I am hoping that people can see the truth and not get stuck in the lies. Therefore, I liked that thought a lot.”
“The truth is that our nature is divine and we all are part of the divine source. It’s just that not everyone recognizes it,” she said.
Reporting by NTD Television, Sherry Dong, Lisa Fan, and Heide B. Malhotra
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.
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.