ESCONDIDO, Calif.—”Whenever you see the creative human being flowing in the energetics of talent, and skill, and love, then that is God expressing that.” These were the words spoken by an eloquent teacher after she watched a sold-out production of Shen Yun Performing Arts World Company on Feb. 19. at the California Center for the Arts.
Becky (who requested to just use her first name) walked out of the theater beaming and with insights to spare. She described the performance as a sort of wake-up call to remind humanity of its roots.
“It is really important that we as human spirits wake up to divine love, compassion, truth, and forbearance, which is part of what they were sharing with us,” she said.
Becky believes that humanity is living in the times referred to in prophecies, “So each one of us needs to wake up and be a part of moving forward by making decisions that are thoughtful and loving to all—the highest and the best for all,” she said. “This wonderful presentation also shares with us a divine story of the higher light. But it takes each one of us to wake up that spark, that amazing, divine spark, that we are all one. We all need to shine so that oneness comes into being.”
Shen Yun is a non-profit, New York-based, classical Chinese dance and music company that tours the world with an all-new show each year, with a mission to revive the divinely inspired Chinese culture, according to the company’s website.
China was once known as Shen Zhou, or Divine Land. “It refers to the belief that the divine, through various dynasties, transmitted a rich and abundant culture to the Chinese people,” states the website. “Chinese culture is thus known as ‘divinely inspired,’ and is the only culture in the world to have a continuous recorded history of 5,000 years.”
Chinese culture is deeply steeped in spirituality. With Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism as its foundation, China’s culture is brimming with myths and legends that convey principles such as respect for the divine, benevolence, courage, propriety, and wisdom.
The themes throughout Shen Yun’s performance incorporate these principles, and they deeply resonated with Becky. She was actually inspired to spontaneously sing a song, a capella, while speaking with Epoch Times.
With her sonorous voice echoing in the halls outside the theater, she sang these words in a beautiful melody:
“In each moment,
We have an opportunity
to make a decision of love, or not.
So come and see
This wonderful show.
It will fill you with light
Until you will glow.
There’s a message here for you,
A message here for you.
Come and revel in the talent
Of beautiful music,
And an expression of a wholeness of love.”
It’s rare that a performing arts company would elicit such a response from an audience member, but time and time again, Shen Yun has had such unique effects on audiences worldwide.
Becky feels that if humankind expressed “the energy of love,” many problems would be solved.
As for the technical aspects of Shen Yun, Becky was also thoroughly impressed.
“It’s quite an amazing show,” she said. “The dance talent was superb.” She said that the costumes’ colors “blew her mind.”
“There’s a video screen that has animation for the background that was so theatrical and so ingenious of how they put live players with animation,” she added. “I thought it was quite wonderfully done.”
Shen Yun ‘Shows the Whole Interconnectedness—From Beginning to Now’
A Shen Yun performance includes approximately 20 vignettes, each no longer than 10 minutes, that carry audiences on a journey through China’s glorious history, from ancient tales of the establishment of Chinese civilization nearly 5,000 years ago, through to the present.
Leslie Williams, a retired teacher, also attended Shen Yun on Feb. 19. She was with her sister, her sister’s daughter and granddaughter.
Ms. Williams appreciated the divine aspect of traditional Chinese culture and noted the importance of humanity connecting to the divine.
“Anything that can speak to [one’s] inner being, and the creator, and [the] connection to all of it” is important to her, she said. “We are all connected, and that’s what I think it (Shen Yun) shows. And I love it in the end because it shows the whole interconnectedness from beginning to now.”
Ms. Williams was referring to the last piece entitled The Divine Renaissance Begins, in which a divine being descends to Earth to save humankind from disaster.
“The divine renaissance. Yes, a rebirth. It is a rebirth,” Ms. Williams said. “I’m wondering if China itself is going to experience that because it seems like more and more young people are wanting that.”
For over six decades, traditional Chinese culture has been under attack by the Chinese Communist Party, especially during campaigns such as the Cultural Revolution, in which sacred monuments and temples were physically destroyed and traditional values were condemned.
Although Shen Yun seeks to revive China’s ancient values and has met with critical acclaim around the world, the company cannot perform in China.
“This is a Chinese show and they cannot show it in China and, to me, that’s a travesty,” said Ms. Williams. “But it is divine.” The message Shen Yun brings forth is to love one another and have compassion, tolerance, and truth, she added.
Although most pieces include classical Chinese dance as well as ethnic and folk dance, Shen Yun includes an erhu solo performance. The erhu is on of the most important Chinese instruments; it has a history of over 4,000 years, and its two strings are able to convey a wide range of emotions.
Ms. Williams was struck by the purity she felt while listening to the erhu. “I closed my eyes when I was listening to that…It’s so pure, the sound, I closed my eyes and it was ethereal,” she said.
Before the erhu piece, the emcees explained that music was one of the first forms of medicine.
“And, to me, that’s exactly what it was,” she added.
The emcees also explained that Shen Yun means “the beauty of divine beings dancing.”
Ms. Williams agreed, saying “it’s all in the title.”
Reporting by Jane Lin and Albert Roman
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.