Shoebridge was quite moved by the amount of diversity that was displayed.
“There’s an extraordinary degree of athleticism, a magical display of art that we see from the dancers. It is heartening to see that lovely mixture of deep culture from Chinese traditional dance,” he said on March 11, 2020.
The foundation of a Shen Yun performance is classical Chinese dance, a complex system that is highly expressive and technically challenging. The New York-based performing arts company also includes ethnic and folk dances that range from the plains of Tibet to the sprawling plains of Mongolia, and the entire performance is accompanied by a live orchestra. The unique ensemble combines the beauty and distinct sounds of Chinese music with the precision and power of a Western symphony orchestra.
The sharply dressed minister was struck by the storytelling from the various cultures and groups in Chinese history.
“Some of the storytelling that you see through the dance is really quite compelling. But I think also it’s the celebration of the diversity of Chinese history and culture. It’s not just one dominant Han Chinese dance form we see, we see a celebration of the many different nations, cultures, and nationalities that really make up traditional Chinese dance,” Shoebridge said.
Traditional Chinese culture is described as divinely inspired because it is believed that mortals and gods once coexisted in the land of China. Since the beginning of Chinese civilization 5,000 years ago, the culture has incorporated a range of spiritual beliefs including Taoism and Buddhism in ancient times and Falun Dafa—a spiritual practice in the Buddhist tradition—in modern times.
One of Shoebridge’s takeaways from the performance was the harmony between the grace and athleticism of the performers.
“What you see is enormously skilled performers; we see, I think presented in a very modern way—very clearly traditional Chinese dance and art forms. One of the things I really take away from it is both the grace and the athleticism, it is really a stunning performance,” he said.
“So I would like to say to all the performers; I, like I am sure all of your audience members, are deeply grateful for the work, the experience, and the diligence and we take away from it—a really uplifting evening.”
With reporting by NTD Television and Alan Cheung.
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time and has covered audience reactions since the company’s inception in 2006.