KNOXVILLE, Tenn.—As program developer for Food Donation Connection, Jim Larson has spent the last 17 making a difference in the world, helping coordinate surplus food donations from restaurants and making sure they make it to charities. New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts is trying to make a difference in the world, too.
Mr. Larson respects the performance by Shen Yun Performing Arts he saw in Knoxville Wednesday night with his wife. Shen Yun is breathing life back into 5,000 years of cultural traditions and values that have been nearly destroyed by the Chinese communist regime.
Mr. Larson was very impressed “by the dedication, and the athleticism, and the message” of the classical Chinese dance and music company. He respected the message of a great history and good moral founding.
“Mortals and divine beings merge on stage as one. Principles such as benevolence and justice, propriety and wisdom, respect for the heavens, and divine retribution, all come to life, washing over the audience,” the company website states.
Miriam Larson, an instructional designer, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, sees Shen Yun as having a respect for the culture, history, and values of human ancestry.
In addition, she believes that the traditional Chinese culture embodies respect. “I think respect for elders was very clear in the stories that were told, and respect for caring for others and the history behind a culture,” she explained.
She believes that each culture needs to understand its history and why things are done a certain way. Without knowing the reason for a tradition, a culture may to choose to discontinue a custom that may be important. Thus she found Shen Yun’s mission to restore traditional Chinese culture important.
In a similar way, Mr. Larson respected some of the story-based dances he saw on Jan. 12 that depicted stories of what is happening in China today. In one dance people stood up for their faith against communist repression.
And he saw a bit of his own faith mirrored on stage—like the upfront acknowledgement of a Creator. “There was certainly a designer and creator, and it’s evident in his creation,” and that’s why he appreciated Shen Yun.
For Mr. Larson, the idea of a Creator was expressed through the beauty of nature. Twirling handkerchief looked like flowers; maidens’ long sleeves brought the beauty of water to mind. The colors, the songs—these expressions showed a divine hand.
Mr. Larson will make it a point to share his appreciation with his friends and return next year himself.
Reporting by Steve Xu and Sharon Kilarski
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.