THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.—At his friends’ suggestion, Harry Crowe found himself among an exciting, cheering audience watching another sold-out performance of the world-renowned Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company, at the Fred Kavli Theatre, on Wednesday evening March 19.
Mr. Crowe is currently the owner of C* Consulting company. He was a software and systems manager at Deloitte & Touche Tax Technologies and CORPTAX, LLC for over 30 years. According to Mr. Crowe, he is a docent at his town’s arts museum due to his interest in arts.
“This is wonderful. Absolutely stunning,” exclaimed Mr. Crowe after watching the music and dance performance. “I would describe it as a tremendously beautiful, artistic and emotional experience.”
Independent and nonprofit, New York-based Shen Yun was established in 2006 by artists from around the world with the mission of reviving China’s divinely inspired traditional Chinese culture, which had nearly been completely destroyed by the current regime in China over the last several decades.
“For 5,000 years divine culture flourished in the land of China. Humanity’s treasure was nearly lost, but through breathtaking music and dance, New York-based Shen Yun is bringing back this glorious culture,” according to the Shen Yun website.”
Mr. Crowe was emotionally touched by the performance, a mixture of happiness and sadness.
“I actually found myself crying at one point. It was amazing. I was just so moved by the presentation,” he said referring to the dance titled The Steadfast Lotus which depicts the ongoing persecution of people who practice Falun Dafa, a spiritual meditation discipline based on Truth, Compassion, and Tolerance. The persecution was instigated by the Chinese communist regime in 1999 and continues to this day.
The website explains, “Forcing atheism upon society, the Chinese Communist Party has for decades launched various campaigns—most notably the Cultural Revolution—to destroy not only cultural sites, temples, and relics, but also the Chinese people’s belief in virtue and faith in the divine.”
Though Shen Yun strives to share true Chinese culture with the world, it cannot be seen in China today, where traditional beliefs have been uprooted and ancient treasures destroyed, threatening the survival of China’s 5,000-year-old civilization.
“Since the Chinese Communist Party is officially an atheist regime, it is afraid of the freedom of expression this arts company enjoys in the West,” explained the website.
“I don’t know the contrast of the freedom that they are able to execute here by being out of the I guess the umbrella of whatever is going on in China right now is very interesting to me,” said Mr. Crowe.
“It’s sad, because I think China Mainland is missing some of the stuff that is really part of their heritage by not allowing (Shen Yun) to be present. But to see it really makes one understand it. China got some incredible history.”
Another unique aspect of Shen Yun is the state-of-the-art digital backdrop that interacts with the dancers to create a full theatrical effect.
Mr. Crowe was delighted, “The way that the some of the presentations were utilizing the screens as animations and having the animations turned into characters that was fabulous. That was just amazing. I have never seen anything like that and I was really happy about that.”
At the core of a Shen Yun performance is the classical Chinese dance, which is “known for its incredible flips and spins, and its gentle elegance, it is one of the most rigorous and expressive art forms in the world,” the website explains.
Impressed by the dance technique, Mr. Crowe explained, “The dancing was incredible. All of the performers were so good at their craft. They were so in sync. I was watching all the movements the facial movements and the hand movements, everything was just amazing. I really liked that kind of dancing; I haven’t seen much of it. But it’s just overall overwhelming in a very good way.”
Mr. Crowe said, “I am really happy. There was a tremendous amount of humor.”
“Overall, I think this is just fantastic. And I look forward to coming again.”
Reporting by Albert Roman 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.
The 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