Shen Yun ‘Is a Tremendous Opportunity to Bridge Our Cultures,’ Says Attorney

Feb 08, 2024
Shen Yun ‘Is a Tremendous Opportunity to Bridge Our Cultures,’ Says Attorney
David Barton enjoyed Shen Yun's evening performance at Ikeda Theater at Mesa Arts Center on Feb. 7, 2024. (Lily Yu/The Epoch Times)

MESA, Ariz.—Attorney David Barton attended Shen Yun Performing Arts for the first time on Feb. 7, at Ikeda Theater at Mesa Arts Center.

Though he doesn’t know too much about China, Mr. Barton said it was very nice to see traditional Chinese culture on display. Shen Yun made him interested to find out more.

“I loved it. It’s very nice. I appreciated the portions where they talked about faith and the religious components of what used to be China. That was nice to see. This made me want to learn more, particularly about [China’s] pre-communist past,” he said.

“I want to learn more about the Buddhist faith and some of the concepts that would have motivated them in the past because I think it’s a tremendous opportunity to bridge our cultures. I thought it was great.”

The message Mr. Barton will be bringing home with him is that spiritual beliefs across the world are not so different after all.

“Our faith traditions are a little bit similar. We all kind of share a common basis,” he elaborated.

The New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts was founded in 2006 by elite Chinese artists who had fled the persecution of the communist party.
For 5,000 years, China’s civilization flourished under the shared belief that the divine will bless those who uphold traditional moral values. Tragically, within just a few decades of the communist party’s violent takeover, these beliefs were erased and replaced with atheism.
Shen Yun artists aim to return to the world’s stage—the glory and beauty of China’s 5,000 years of divinely inspired culture.

Mr. Barton agrees with Shen Yun’s mission because “there’s an unfortunate divide right now between China and the United States,” and it’s “definitely because of communism.”

“I hope [the artists] keep doing this. More people need to understand what China is all about—It’s not about what we currently see and the conflict that we currently have,” he expressed.

“I would love to see more understanding between our two cultures so that people can get along. I think there’s more that unites us than divides us. It’s unfortunate that right now, we’re in a situation where, at least from my perspective, on the American side there is a sense or perception that China is our enemy. That’s really sad.”

Mr. Barton further added that people should be coming together, trying to resolve problems, and uniting as a world rather than trying to blame each other for what’s going on.

“So, this to me, was very nice to see that at least this organization is trying to help Americans understand better the Chinese culture.”

However, due to Shen Yun’s focus on reviving traditional culture and presenting the truth of events under communist rule in present-day China, it is currently forbidden by the regime from performing in China.

Mr. Barton thought this situation is very unfortunate.

“People who are responsible for [Shen Yun] and who are part of it are probably persona non grata in China, which is unfortunate,” he said.

“Americans value free speech and value the opportunity to express your beliefs and your views. It was nice to see that there’s a group of Chinese people who are willing to bravely stand up and say, this is what China could be like and what it was like. It was nice to see.”

Reporting by Lily Yu and Jennifer Tseng.
The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of Shen Yun Performing Arts. We have covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.
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