HOUSTON—The China that people think they know is not what they experience when they attend a Shen Yun Performing Arts performance.
This contrast between the current China and the China with a divinely inspired culture continues to surprise audiences all over the world.
It surprised Honeywell vice president of sales Stephen Borden, who attended the first show of the company’s 12-performance run at the Jesse H. Jones Hall for the Performing Arts in Houston on Dec. 22.
“I really saw the ancient China come to life. It was a very inspiring spiritual piece and it really shows the Chinese people are connected spiritually to the earth and to the heaven above, so that was very powerful, probably the most powerful part for me,” said Mr. Borden.
Engineer David Harris of Harris Engineering, who attended the same performance, could likewise relate to the stories and the spiritual aspects of the show.
As grand ancient vistas, palaces and temples were revealed on stage, the dancers movements brought to life stories which Mr. Harris found to be wonderful and very touching.
China, once known as Shen Zhou—The Divine Land, was called as such because, according to Shen Yun, this profound name describes a land where deities and mortals coexisted, and a belief that the divine transmitted a rich culture to the people of the earth.
Mr. Harris strongly connected to this, saying: “I think there is a lot of it that I’ve envisioned in my mind, too, with all the people in heaven watching, watching us.”
He went on to recount one of the dances “where the people in the heaven were watching the people on Earth, and they would come to help when they need help. And so that was something that resonated with me, because I believe that,” he said.
Mr. Harris was likewise touched by the fact that the culture portrayed by Shen Yun had been lost “and it should never have been [lost].”
“And the fact that it is a fight against evil with good,” he said.
Mr. Tommy R. Letbetter, lawyer and partner at the law firm of Garrett, Letbetter & Payne, has been fighting for injured railroad workers and their families for almost 50 years.
The drama of the dance showing the suppression of the spiritual practice Falun Gong is one of the contemporary happenings that Shen Yun Performing Arts depicts.
Mr. Letbetter expressed his concern by saying that “the suppression of thoughts and meditation is just bad for everybody,” and wondered whether any of the performers would be able to go back to mainland China after they perform in Shen Yun. He was dismayed to find out that they cannot since the communist regime is still suppressing freedom of belief and continues to persecute people who believe in truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.
Over its past 60 years of rule, the communist regime has sought to destroy traditional Chinese values that centered on the idea of harmony between heaven and earth, because it saw such ideas as a threat to its existence. Systematic campaigns like the Cultural Revolution ensued, uprooting traditional beliefs, destroying ancient treasures, and bringing 5,000 years of civilization to the brink of extinction.
Mr. Letbetter was hopeful about the future and expressed his admiration for the fact that on stage he saw “a China of the way that used to be.”
He added that during the time of Marco Polo, China was “the leader in everything, and that is just the way it needs to be again.”
Reporting by Sherry Dong and Kati Vereshaka
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.
The 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.