BOSTON—In a world full of tension and intolerance, “compassion and tolerance is the goal” needed more than ever, Patrick Marchand said after seeing Shen Yun at the Boston Opera House on Jan. 22. For this reason, he felt the display of compassion in the performance is greatly needed.
“We need more of that,” said Mr. Marchand, who just retired as a scientist from MIT Lincoln Laboratory.
He loved the gracefulness, athleticism, and the beauty of the dancers—the overall sense of aestheticism—he witnessed in the dance. “It’s very geared to the pleasure of the eye,” he said, and he loved and the melodious expression he heard in the music—a combination of ancient Chinese instruments with Western symphonic ones.
The mission of Shen Yun Performing Arts is to revive, through music and dance, the cultural values and arts of China’s 5,000 year old civilization—a civilization that has been systemically destroyed over decades by the communist rule.
In fact, the Shen Yun, famous for its story-based dances, was formed and is housed in New York, not China, where the company is in fact banned.
Mr. Marchand enjoyed the stories, which he found allegorical, reminiscent of other cultures with tales of gods that come to earth, figures with special powers, and the forces of good and evil.
These “go deep into history and mankind,” he said.
Some of the stories surprised him a bit. Several dances depict the ongoing persecution of Falun Gong in China by the communist party. Although Mr. Marchand had followed the news about Falun Gong’s plight and knew the practice entailed a spiritual and physical discipline, he hadn’t realize it tied so deeply into Chinese culture of the past.
He had had a sense that compassion had been lost through the communist rule in China, but had not understood that it was as central to the culture as he now believed.
He’s now interested in learning more about both Falun Gong and traditional Chinese culture.
But in the meantime, he believes what Shen Yun presents is valuable to us all: “for mankind to be able to … learn to live together, have compassion, and get to know each other, get to listen to each other too.”
“So I guess I came to listen tonight,” he said.
Reporting by Kerry Huang 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.