‘The unity of all things’ in Shen Yun, Says Photographer

January 10, 2014 Updated: November 17, 2017

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.—”I couldn’t make it last year, but I made it this year, and can’t tell you how wonderful it is,” said Gordon Brugman, a professional photographer, who attended the performance with his wife Jan.

Having studied a little Eastern philosophy, Mr. Brugman was especially impressed by Shen Yun’s wonderful blending of so many exquisite art forms. “It’s my first time to see it, and everything about it—the costumes, the dancers, the orchestra—it’s all wonderful,” he said at Knoxville’s Tennessee Theatre on Jan. 8.

Mr. Brugman, a photographer for over 30 years, owns Smoky Mountain Photography with his wife. He has taught photography, served as president of the Smoky Mountain Association of Photographers, and has a Special Contributor designation to TodaysPhoto.org.

He and his wife also operate a sound production studio, Unity Creative Productions.

Having a keen sense for accuracy, Mr. Brugman took special note of the world-class talent of Shen Yun’s dancers. “I’m thinking the precision of the dancers impressed me very much,” he said. “It’s hard to tell the background dancers from the primary dancers, because they’re all just awesome.”

“A Shen Yun performance features the world’s foremost classically trained dancers, a unique orchestra blending East and West, and dazzling animated backdrops—together creating one spectacular performance,” reads Shen Yun’s website.

The couple had been looking forward to the performance for months, and Mr. Brugman was thrilled that it lived up to more than he’d expected.

Another aspect this stuck him most profoundly was “the whole idea of compassion and truth. The fact that it is universal and we’re all a part of that,” he said. 

He added that the current regime’s suppression of traditional culture in China is doomed to fail because “you can’t subjugate it. You can’t keep it down. The truth will always come through.”

For 60 years the communist regime has made every effort to dismantle China’s divinely inspired culture. Through its brutal campaigns, such as the Cultural Revolution and the ongoing persecution of the spiritual practice Falun Gong, the current regime has nearly destroyed what was once considered a true treasure of mankind, according to the Shen Yun website.

Mr. Brugman said he was spreading the word about Shen Yun before attending, and that he plans on telling many more about it. He added that he planned not only to tell others about Shen Yun, but also “the philosophy behind it,”—the  mission to revive a culture that was once almost lost.

Connecting with the performance’s deeper meanings, Mr. Brugman concluded with a reference to Shen Yun’s universal appeal. “Well, I understand that it is the unity of all things and the truth that lies in the center of all things,” he said. 

“How we are all interconnected, and the whole idea you can keep somebody’s spirit down—when you’re doing that, you’re only keeping your own spirit down.”

Reporting By Teresa You and Michael Fitzgerald

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.