FAIRFAX, Va.—Dance and music are often known as universal languages because of their ability to transcend cultural barriers. Shen Yun
Performing Arts uses these universal languages to show audiences all over the world the beauty of traditional Chinese culture. Mr. Yang, who came from mainland China, watched Shen Yun for the first time on Jan. 22 at the George Mason University Center for the Arts, and praised Shen Yun’s ability to share Chinese culture with Western audiences.
“Shen Yun has achieved something miraculous,” said Mr. Yang. “It has presented Chinese culture in a way that Chinese audiences understand, and especially in a way that Western audiences can understand. That is truly an incredible feat.”
Based in New York, Shen Yun was founded in 2006 by leading Chinese artists and quickly became the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music company. Shen Yun’s mission is to revive traditional Chinese culture, and to show its audiences the beauty of China before communism.
Mr. Yang was impressed by what Shen Yun
“Through art, Shen Yun
has portrayed many great elements of Chinese culture—elements that that we don’t really see in day-to-day life, or even if we did see, would seem very distant from ordinary people. Shen Yun uses a special art form to truly revive these things.”
“We must affirm that there are many great things about Chinese culture,” said Mr. Yang. “It’s just that no one in mainland China knows how to present these things, due to the Communist Party’s government system; artists don’t know how they can recreate culture.”
According to the Shen Yun website
, Shen Yun’s founders and some of its performers had to flee China’s oppressive and atheist communist government, which destroyed traditional Chinese culture by abolishing its spiritual roots in Confucian, Taoist, and Buddhist teachings.
However, Mr. Yang said he observed that in recent years, Chinese people, Chinese intellectuals, and those who wished for democracy were gradually losing hope in the communist government and that many people, including some of his friends, were beginning to turn to spirituality.
Shen Yun’s website also states that Shen Yun cannot perform in China, though they hope that one day, they will be able to.
Mr. Yang believed that the people would welcome Shen Yun when it does return to China.
“I think the people will love Shen Yun’s program
,” he said.
Although Shen Yun cannot yet perform in China, its 2023 season is its biggest yet. Shen Yun’s eight equally sized companies will be touring
across five continents, over 20 countries, and over 180 cities.
Reporting by Jenny Jing and Wandi Zhu.