COLUMBIA, S.C.—Shen Yun Performing Arts delighted and brought a fresh look at Chinese culture to their audience, on March 15, at The Kroger Performing Arts Center.
Among the captivated audience members were Juanita Landon, an assistant manager of wellness at Garner’s Natural Life of Columbia, and Zakiyyah Shareef, a business owner.
About the performance, Ms. Landon said, “Oh it was wonderful. I love Asia’s cultures and I’ve always liked reminders of it. So it’s a wonderful performance. … I really enjoy the colors and the dramatics.”
Standing out from among the ancient cultures in Asia, “China has been known as the “Celestial Empire.” This refers not only to China’s strength and position as East Asia’s Middle Kingdom, it also captures a more profound meaning, describing a land where the divine and mortal once coexisted. It refers to the belief that the divine, through various dynasties, transmitted a rich and abundant culture to the Chinese people,” according to Shen Yun’s website.
Likewise, Mr. Shareef was touched by the performance. He said, “I enjoyed the whole thing. It was very entertaining. It was uplifting. It was so different.”
Part of the difference Mr. Shareef experienced was due to the Shen Yun Orchestra, which is like no other. “The Shen Yun Orchestra masterfully blends two of the world’s greatest classical music traditions. Ancient Chinese instruments such as the soul-stirring erhu and the delicate pipa lead the melody on top of a full orchestra of Western strings, percussion, woodwinds, and brass. The Western orchestra with its energy and grandeur, and the Chinese instruments with their distinct tones and styles, create a dramatic new sound,” the website states.
Equally enthralled by the melodies of Shen Yun’s orchestra, Ms. Landon said, “I love classical music. I like the mix of it, the different string increments, the drums. It’s a nice mix of the classical music.”
Ms. Landon said this performance reminded her “to value spiritual openness. In not all countries you can practice your spirituality openly, and it is a value that has always been important in the Asian culture. The spiritual background of how Chinese civilization started is not being valued there, and I like how Shen Yun is sharing that here. I think that we as Americans should value that because it’s a right that we have and not all societies have. So I like that they have ventured out, showed us this, and shared their culture with us.”
Falun Dafa practitioners, currently persecuted in China, apply the principles of Truthfulness, Kindness and Tolerance in their daily lives and emphasize being a good person in society.
Mr. Shareef appreciated seeing this ancient culture brought to life on stage, as well as dance The Steadfast Lotus, which tells of a mother and daughter’s who practice Falun Dafa being persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party.
Every year Shen Yun brings more true stories of persecution to the stage in the hope of raising awareness of this tragedy through their art.
With reporting by Miles Segni
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.
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