ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—Trevor Loudon knew he would be seeing a moving, artful performance when he finally got around to getting tickets to Shen Yun Performing Arts. But he didn’t realize the performance would be so profound as to have the message of reminding us of our human souls.
“We are spiritual beings,” Loudon said at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, Florida, on Feb. 24.
“We are put here on Earth with a mission, we’ve forgotten our mission but we’ve been forgiven. You know, you’ve still got a chance, you can still come through this, but we have to rediscover those virtues and rediscover our innate spirituality. We have to conquer the evil of the world and have to fulfill our promises to the Creator,” he said. “So I thought it was very inspiring, very spiritual and a very positive message.”
Loudon said this was his worldview, and he saw it portrayed in a optimistic way in Shen Yun.
“It was vibrant, it was brilliant,” he said. “That was very inspiring. That’s how I see the world.”
Loudon is an author, filmmaker, and public speaker on the topic of political policy. Originally from New Zealand, he resides in the United States and has authored books and scripts on subversion in mainstream American politics.
Loudon found in Shen Yun a tremendous story of good versus evil in human life—that most of us in our day to day have forgotten where we came from, and there are evils in the world that prevent people from nurturing their souls. He also found hope and inspiration in the performance.
“By being good and following the virtues we can recover our spirituality,” Loudon said.
Shen Yun is a New York-based arts company, formed by artists from around the world in 2006 with the mission of reviving the traditional Chinese culture that had by then become nearly extinct.
A typical Shen Yun performance is comprised of 20-some vignettes of classical Chinese dance, showcasing the many stories, ethnicities, and dynasties of the grand 5,000 years. This is a civilization once called the Celestial Empire, a society centered on harmony between heaven, earth, and humankind—until the last century. This is a legacy that was violently stamped out by the modern communist regime through systematic campaigns like the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and ’70s.
As such, Loudon saw the suppression of spirituality by the Chinese Communist Party through the performance. He also saw Shen Yun’s effort to help revive this spirituality, and people’s connection to the traditional culture.
“I thought this was a very powerful part of the presentation, very inspiring part of the presentation, and I thought it was just a great show. I can’t wait to see it again next time it comes around and can’t recommend it highly enough,” Loudon said.
The scale, beauty, and execution of the production left nothing lacking.
“I could not believe how much work would have gone into this production. I thought the set was stunning and beautiful, I thought the performances were excellent, energetic—beautifully timed,” Loudon said.
“But the thing that struck me more than anything was just the color. The bright, optimistic, whole palette of color that you saw. Right from when the first curtain came up—it went to the darkness to just overwhelming color. The pinks, the reds, the greens, the blues are just stunning, and it was like being in a rainbow. I thought the skill levels, the choreography was all just fantastic. I thought it was excellent.”
He praised the beautiful orchestration of the Chinese instruments within an otherwise Western symphony orchestra. All together, the effect was more than the sum of its parts.
“What we saw in this production today was what life should be life,” he said. “To me was real illustration of the constant battle between good and evil, but the optimism of the production came through, and the faith and the confidence that the good will prevail.”
“I think it was really bright, energetic performance, very hopeful and spiritual, and it showed the dark side of life, it showed there are forces out there who want to suppress us, to destroy us. And I called it evil, and it is embodied in the Chinese Communist Party. That’s not the only evil in the world,” Loudon said.
“But I think the performance showed to me the good will overcome evil, and that we have to keep persevering and show forbearance and carry on. And we can win this but we have to rediscover those virtues within ourselves. It showed the evil of life, and the good of life, and that the good is more powerful and will prevail,” Loudon said.
Loudon felt, in fact, that Shen Yun could help change the world in a step in the right direction.
“We saw several hundred people see this tonight, and I don’t think any of them would have missed the significance,” he said.
“I think it would be uplifting for all these people and they will think about life in a different way, and hopefully make better choices. So the fact that this production is touring all over the world and is seen by thousands of people every week, ultimately that’s got to make difference in the universe. The yin and yang, the dark and the light. This is a force for light, and it’s spreading light all around the world to thousands of people every week.”
“I think that is going to be hugely beneficial and hugely inspiring for a large number of people,” Loudon said. “Even the inspiration and the artistic of the art that has been produced would create the conditions for good. Just that alone!—I thought it was a fantastic production.”
With reporting by NTD Television.
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time and has covered audience reactions since the company’s inception in 2006.