CLEVELAND—”Oh, such beauty, it takes your breath away,” was John Schiller’s impression of Shen Yun Performing Arts on the evening of Feb. 10.
Tonight was Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company’s first of two performances at Cleveland’s State Theater.
Shen Yun, based in New York, is a world class dance and music company. It has four companies that tour the globe simultaneously, bringing a traditional Chinese cultural experience to theatergoers in over 100 cities.
Through Chinese classical dance, symphonic music showcasing Eastern and Western instrumentation, and digital interactive backdrops, 20 or so mini-dramas come together to make up a complete program. These vignettes retell stories from China’s legends, mythology, and literature spanning its 5,000 year history.
“Chinese dance is at the heart of what Shen Yun does. Known for its incredible flips and spins, and its gentle elegance, it is one of the most rigorous and expressive art forms in the world,” according to the company’s website.
Mr. Schiller, a former French and English teacher, was impressed by the dancers’ synchronicity and how they were so “precision oriented.”
“I love togetherness” in the sense of synchronicity, affirmed Blaze Baulic, a Croatian folk dancer and friend of Mr. Schiller’s.
Despite the fact that Shen Yun is not allowed to perform in Mainland China, Mr. Schiller stated, “I’m so glad they are able to continue these Chinese traditions here or other places in the world, wherever. They are learning and perfecting this art form but it is beautiful to watch.”
One reason Shen Yun is not allowed to perform in Mainland China is because ancient Chinese culture is said to have been semi-divine and when presenting a depiction of this kind, it will inevitably include some spiritual elements or themes which do not conform to the atheist ideology of the Chinese communist regime.
Mr. Baulic loved the spiritual aspect and how prayers could turn an evil person toward forgiveness and feeling sorry for their wrongdoings. “It was wonderful, wonderfully done,” he said.
Mr. Baulic felt that the performance showed a common value for people of faith, one that illustrates the idea of forgiveness and redemption.
“If you have faith … you believe in God, you pray to God, the good will come to you and the bad people can be turned into good people with their remorse and things, and this show was just so wonderful. It showed everything–how (the) bad guy became (the) good guy, and he realized that he was bad, so that is what faith does to you,” he explained.
Mr. Schiller couldn’t have agreed more. “Compassion, like they said, compassion is louder, more powerful than the mean way, and that is what we both believe in our religions, too,” he said.
Reporting by Sally Sun and Andrew Darin
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