Stories Portrayed in Shen Yun Bring out the Best in Man

April 1, 2016 Updated: April 1, 2016

CHIAYI, Taiwan—After watching Shen Yun Performing Arts for the third time on March 29, professor Kao Cheng-Hsiung believed that “the most important mission of Shen Yun’s performance is to awaken the benign nature in man.”

“The profound meanings in the stories Shen Yun tells can effectively drive in us the feeling of wanting to be kind. This is why Shen Yun is so special,” he said.

Dr. Kao, a retired mathematics professor, believed that good virtues spread by Shen Yun could have “a positive impact on the modern societies, which are flooded with drugs and violence.”

New York-based Shen Yun’s mission, according to its website, is to revive the 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture through the universal language of music and dance.

Importance of Tolerance

Tolerance, one the the valuable virtues depicted by the stories in Shen Yun’s performance, is especially important, said Dr. Kao. He admired Emperor Kangxi’s ability to tolerate in the story-based dance “Defending the Throne.”

“People nowadays lack the ability to tolerate. Young Emperor Kangxi did not let his anger and fear take over when facing threats from his general. His tolerance allowed him to see things clearly and come up with coping strategies.”

“Only when there is tolerance will there be world peace,” he added.

The story “Trial By Fire” demonstrates the power of tolerance as well, except that the story takes place in modern China. The police arrested a practitioner of Falun Gong, a spiritual meditation practice currently persecuted in China, and tortured him for refusing to give up his faith. He survived the ordeal a broken man, with his wife left to pick up the pieces. Then in the midst of their despair, a heavenly scene unfolds.

“The spirit in this particular story is the true manifestation of tolerance,” Dr. Kao said.

Exceptional Music and Costume Designs

With a variety of surprises and special effects, Dr. Kao believed that the Shen Yun artists have put in tremendous amount of time and effort for the production. “That is what makes Shen Yun the number one show in the world,” he said.

The way they bring in the music during a story is brilliant. … The sharp contrast between the colors makes the costumes appealing and luxurious.
— Dr. Kao Cheng-Hsiung

“The way they bring in the music during a story is brilliant. The tempo and rhythm of the music match the scenes, the movements of the artists, and the images of the digital backdrop. It bridges the audiences and the stories,” said Kao.

“Also the sharp contrast between the colors makes the costumes appealing and luxurious,” he added, “The colors seem crisp and clean. I don’t see Shen Yun use bright red all over in the background like other performing groups from mainland China.”

The Divinely-Inspired Chinese Culture

According to Shen Yun’s website, it describes the performance as “a sea of traditional Chinese culture. Mortals and divine beings merge on stage as one. Principles such as benevolence and justice, propriety and wisdom, respect for the heavens, and divine retribution, all come to life, washing over the audience. Originating from Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism, these ideals are the essence of traditional Chinese culture.”

Dr. Kao agreed. He said, “Everyone needs faith, to believe in the Creator, and to follow the course of nature. We must be humble in front of the Creator because he made us.”

Reporting by Long Fang and Lin Hsin-Yi

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.

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