ORLANDO, Fla.—Genuine art moves a person. It awakens the senses. At its best, it can even bring tears of sadness or tears of joy.
Just ask Roger Perron, who was passionate about his experience with Shen Yun Performing Arts—and its mission to revive 5,000 years of divinely inspired culture—at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts on Feb 9.
Mr. Perron, who owns a television production company, said the performance was phenomenal. He was moved by Shen Yun’s storytelling. While he enjoyed each piece, the stories of courage and perseverance in modern China moved him the most.
“I never really realized how good something like this could be, presented to the public, [about] what’s going on in China,” he said.
“Whether set in the past or in contemporary China, every dance embodies traditional Chinese values. Ideals of loyalty, filial piety, and veneration for the divine are cherished and celebrated. Heroes are extolled for their compassion and tolerance as much as their courage or determination when facing adversity,” the New York-based company’s website says about Shen Yun’s stories and history.
In “The Steadfast Heart,” a story-based dance set in contemporary China, a group of people are about to start their morning routine of Falun Gong exercises when police attack and arrest them.
Despite imprisonment and torture, they persevere in their faith. The story is representative of the experience of Falun Gong practitioners in China who are persecuted for their beliefs in this traditional spiritual discipline also known as Falun Dafa.
Mr. Perron said what he learned about the struggles people face in modern-day China made him angry and sad. “It’s enough to make you sad and [make you] cry,” he said. “It touches the heart.”
While China was once known as “Shen Zhou” or the Divine Land, over the past 60 years, the communist regime has tried to strip the country of its essence by doing all it can to uproot and destroy traditional Chinese values and culture.
This sad truth—and Shen Yun’s artistic expression of it—is what made Mr. Perron cry.
“I’ve seen many shows but never anything like this—ever. This stands out by itself. The beauty, the quality of the dancing—everything is perfect, everything is timed properly.”
Speaking of his friends, he said: “They’ve got to come to see this. They’ve got to.”
Reporting by Edie Bassen and Adam Miller
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.