LOS ANGELES–The world renowned Shen Yun Performing Arts has impressed millions around the globe with its presentation of 5,000-year of China’s culture that has nearly been destroyed under the communist rule, and Los Angeles is a stop on its global tour every year.
In attendance among an enthusiastic audience at the Microsoft Theater—which holds one of the largest indoor stages in the US—were actor Charles Rahi Chun, as a guest of his dear friend, Megin Spivey. Ms. Spivey is an acclaimed jewelry designer who owns SpiVey jewelry designs, specializing in high-end cuff links.
Mr. Chun appeared in over 100 episodes of television shows such as Scrubs as Dr. Wen for 5 seasons, General Hospital, The Young and the Restless, Criminal Minds, Law and Order, Everybody Loves Raymond; and feature films such as “Next” with Nicolas Cage, “MI:3” with Tom Cruise, “The Interview” with Seth Rogen and James Franco, just to name a few.
After watching the first half of the performance on April 23, Mr. Chun said that he was most impressed by not only the technical and artistic aspects of Shen Yun’s performance, but the message of how important it is to have the artistic and religious freedom.
He said, “I think it’s powerful for a company representing Chinese culture to be making a statement about the Chinese government. That’s really powerful.”
Mr. Chun was referring to two vignettes called “Monks and the Red Guards” and “The Steadfast Heart,” which depict the persecution of Buddhist monks and Falun Dafa practitioners in China. Both ultimately triumph through their peaceful faiths.
Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, is a peaceful meditation practice that embraces the guiding principles of truth, compassion, and tolerance. Falun Gong practitioners have been brutally persecuted by the communist regime since 1999.
He was troubled by the oppression of spirituality in China portrayed through the performance: “I think in this country, we take for granted the freedom that we have, freedom of expression, freedom of religion. And I think it’s powerful for a company representing Chinese culture to be demonstrating how important it is to have that kind of freedom of religion and freedom of expression in the artistic pieces.”
Because of his Korean heritage that he believed was influenced by its neighboring China, Mr. Chun said that he felt connected with the Chinese culture, and familiar with the background images portrayed in Shen Yun’s performance.
Since ancient times, China has been known as the “Divine Land” where the divine and mortal once coexisted. It was believed that the arts were given to humankind as a way to bring some of the divine to earth.
Through the arts performed through story-based, classical Chinese dance and music, audiences are invited to take a journey through 5,000 years of China’s culture and beliefs, from the legend of the Yellow Emperor descending from heaven to reign, to heroic tales in ancient times, to modern times.
Mr. Chun said, “I’m very inspired that Shen Yun has descendants of Chinese culture, … that they’re representing and expressing all the different spiritual aspects of our existence not only through the [dance] pieces but through the songs, and through just naming themselves ‘Shen Yun.'”
“Shen Yun,” according to the program, translates into something like “the beauty of divine beings dancing.”
Mr. Chun summarized his experience with Shen Yun thus far, “I feel like [Shen Yun is] doing what people in China may be feeling and experiencing, but cannot express. So I think that’s really powerful.”
Reporting by Yaning Liu and Thanh Le
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.