MILWAUKEE—Shen Yun’s wish is to share authentic Chinese culture with audiences around the world through dance and music—a culture which revered the divine and cultivated virtue. “A culture almost completely destroyed in China under communist rule,” states the Shen Yun program.
Each year, the New York-based Shen Yun provides a totally new performance with the aim to take audiences along a journey of 5,000 years. “Stories and legends that span China’s history from the Yellow Emperor and through the Tang and Song dynasties and all the way to the modern day,” states the Shen Yun website.
For six months out of the year, four Shen Yun companies travel to 20 counties to perform in over 100 cities. For the 2016 season, the tour will include 17 Midwest cities with Milwaukee being the eighth to date.
Among the theatergoers at the Milwaukee Theatre for the Saturday performance of Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company on Feb. 20, was Andy Bobowski, his wife, and their foreign exchange daughter, who is from Mexico.
“I enjoyed [Shen Yun] very much,” said Mr. Bobowski.
“I am amazed with the skill, the talent, and the dedication” of the performers. I really am. And, the outfits—the silk, the hand-craftsmanship, and all that stuff. It is just amazing and their ability to tell a story while dancing.”
“China’s deep cultural traditions are contained in classical Chinese dance, allowing its movements to be richly expressive, such that the personalities and feelings of characters can be portrayed with unparalleled clarity,” states Shen Yun’s website.
As an international business owner, Mr. Bobowski found the performance enhanced his understanding of Chinese culture. “I love the integration of all different types of culture,” he said.
The performance “shows how far back the Chinese culture goes, and how in-depth it goes into the soul of their whole philosophy. And to me, that is very special, something I learned. Because, America is very new, China is thousands of years old,” he said.
“I think actually the show is trying to say be true to yourself and true to other people,” he said of that philosophy.
“Dafa” stood out for him, because he saw that as the theme of the performance. Dafa means the “Great Way,” said Mr. Bobowski. He is referring to the song “Mission,” sang by a vocalist. It describes a dream of going to heaven and the message from heaven.
Mr. Bobowski did not have one particular favorite part as he liked the entire production from start to finish. “It kind of took the past and brought it to the future and still gave everybody hope,” Mr. Bobowski said.
His wife agreed. She add that the youth need to respect the past. “Yes,” chimed in her husband.
Shen Yun is all about the past 5,000 years of Chinese civilization and the future.
Reporting by Stacey Tang and Cat Rooney
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.