BALTIMORE—For most audience members, Shen Yun Performing Arts is their first encounter with traditional Chinese culture. Such is because the divinely inspired culture was nearly destroyed completely when communism came into power decades ago.
For some audience members, like Richard Morales, they remember the high cost: how the culture, the arts, and lives were lost. It is often the most shocking for those audience members, when they encounter the beauty of traditional Chinese culture, because they so clearly understand what could have been lost forever.
“We just pray and hope that one day, they will have an opportunity for a peaceful existence,” said Mr. Morales, who is a telecommunications engineer who builds networks that connect people via the internet around the world. He attended the performance at the Hippodrome Theatre with his granddaughter Leila Fuller on Feb. 9. “So much of it is beautiful,” he added.
New York-based Shen Yun’s performances blend classical Chinese dance with a state-of-the-art digital backdrop and brilliant costumes that, together with an orchestra blending East and West, transport the audience through China’s 5,000 years.
Mr. Morales is a history buff, and had looked into Chinese history for a long time. Knowing the history, he spoke of the destruction that took place in China when Mao Zedong came in with sadness. Many were persecuted and killed, and events like Tiananmen Square that the world knows about are “just a fraction of what there is,” he said. “I don’t think people realize in the revolution, Mao’s revolution, he killed as many people as Hitler did.”
He suspected not everyone could understand the magnitude of the culture Shen Yun was reviving or what that meant, but appreciated the peace he saw presented in Shen Yun.
“We applaud the culture,” he said.
Ms. Fuller had been wanting to see Shen Yun for the last three years. Her aunt is Chinese, she explained, so many of the stories are familiar things to her aunt but new and exciting for her.
“It was amazing. It was beautiful,” she said. “To me it’s different, it’s unique and new.”
Reporting by Jenny Jing and Catherine Yang
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.