CLEVELAND—On the evening of Feb. 1, Shen Yun Performing Arts carried out its first show at the State Theater in Cleveland, Ohio. Derek Sun, a Chinese student studying abroad said that Shen Yun lifted the fog surrounding Chinese culture.
Classical Chinese dancers, award-winning singers, and a full orchestra comprised of both Eastern and Western instruments allow New York-based Shen Yun to bring traditional Chinese civilization to the world.
That rich civilization was nearly lost after 60 years of deliberate dismantling by the Communist regime, according to the company’s website.
“From the beginning of the program, it felt like I was journeying through 5,000 years of traditional culture. It was as if I was returning to the past and crossing through time; it was amazing! … Shen Yun thoroughly presented all of China’s ancient culture without omitting anything; I believe that was truly phenomenal!” he said. Derek Sun came to the United States in 2013.
“What left the greatest impression on me was the moment when [Taiyi Zhenren] descended to earth in the program Ne Zha Churns the Sea. I seemed to see a god shining in gold supporting him. I think it had a superb visual impact!”
He especially admired Shen Yun’s stage presence, and said, “Shen Yun used a very unique and dynamic three-dimensional effect which brought the performance and the actors to life. It was extremely realistic!”
He was describing the digitally animated backdrop that interacts with the live performers.
“[Shen Yun] fully demonstrated to Western society what 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture truly is. Through the pamphlets, they also allowed people to better understand the experiences and history of Shen Yun, in addition to the extensive training the dance actors had to go through. As the [Chinese] saying goes, one minute on stage translates to ten years of hard work off stage. I believe that these breathtaking and magnificent performances that lasted only a few minutes on stage tonight required an extraordinary amount of effort for the dancers.”
He also said that he would tell his friends and family in China, “[Shen Yun] is hard to describe in just a few words. It is an ineffable performance. I thought it was incredible!”
The Fog Has Lifted
He also expressed that Shen Yun impeccably executed their mission of reviving the traditional Chinese culture that has been lost. He said, “China’s traditional culture, to me, seems to be shrouded in fog. But from watching Shen Yun, I feel that all the fog has been lifted.”
He continued, “Shen Yun not only reflects parts of China’s traditional Chinese culture, it also presented the truth [about Falun Dafa] through means of a performance on the stage. Back in mainland China, I did not know the truth [about Falun Dafa] and did not learn of it until a friend explained it to me in the United States.”
Some of the dances depict the persecution of Falun Dafa in China.
“I think the information we receive [in China] is rather one-sided. Since coming to the United States, my field of vision has broadened substantially, and I believe seeing Shen Yun today will be a positive milestone for my future studies and living! It will allow me to advance farther in my future life.”
With reporting by Irene Luo
Read the Chinese article