AUCKLAND, New Zealand—Shen Yun Performing Arts often leaves audiences feeling spiritually touched. That’s precisely what high school student, Tiffany Stephens, felt after watching an evening performance of Shen Yun at the Aotea Centre, ASB Theatre on Feb. 13.
“Spiritually, I feel very cleansed. You know when you eat a salad and you feel really healthy … I feel really cleansed, like puzzle pieces connected. It feels really, really nice. It feels spiritually uplifting,” Miss. Stephens said.
She described Shen Yun as, “Inspiring, powerful and beautiful.”
According to Shen Yun’s website, “this spiritual connection is motivation for striving to excel, it is the heart behind each movement of the dancer and each note of the musician. It is why audiences can feel there is something different about Shen Yun.”
Miss. Stephens is from a mixed background, her father is from New Zealand and her mother is Chinese. After watching Shen Yun, she wanted to embrace her Chinese cultural heritage further.
“I feel that I have a greater connection to my roots, I got to experience some of the wonderful art forms my culture has to offer, and really enrich my understanding of myself as well,” she said. “I feel that I was able to experience a side of my culture that I wouldn’t have been able to experience if Shen Yun hadn’t existed.”
Ever since the Cultural Revolution, the Chinese Communist Party has tried to eradicate traditional Chinese culture and belief—most recently the regime’s persecution of Falun Dafa, an ancient spiritual discipline and meditation practice centered on truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance.
Miss. Stephens felt the persecution of people for their beliefs in China today is “a very dark situation.” She said, “It’s definitely a big issue in the world, it’s definitely an issue that isn’t addressed properly by the government and by the public.”
In an effort to recover all that was lost, New York-based Shen Yun was created with the mission of reviving 5,000 years of traditional, divinely-inspired Chinese culture and history.
The personal connection with her Chinese heritage is something that Miss. Stephens identified strongly with.
“The dances that were presented in Shen Yun, they have been around for thousands of years. And to think that has influenced my ancestors, as well as me, is something that’s very special,” she said.
She stressed that it is important to see Shen Yun, especially for the overseas Chinese citizens who are not able to go back and see a performance like it in China. She said it would help them understand their cultural heritage.
“It’s really important for us to see something like this, because it’s just coloring our image of our background and helping us connect puzzle pieces together and gain more knowledge about ourselves,” she added.
Reporting by NTD Television and Bowen Xiao
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.