Theatergoer Sees Messages of Hope, Inspiration, and Faith in Shen Yun

“I loved the show — the drama; the pageantry; the costume changes; the stories behind each group that got up there. I was looking at my Program Book so I could follow what they were doing. Each [vignette] had a very important message.”
 

“[Messages of] hope, inspiration, and faith — a belief in something higher than what we are — and then the strife that people can’t all have the freedoms that we have here around the world.”
 

(Are these messages important today?) “Absolutely. It’s more important than ever that we all have our freedoms — freedom of speech, the freedom to pursue your happiness or livelihood, without fear of persecution; to say, “Look, you really shouldn’t be doing that. I enjoy that. It’s my passion.’ 
 

“You could look at their (dancers’) smiling faces, and they believe in the stories, too, and you learn more about the culture as you watch the show. It’s uplifting, and you feel the strife or the struggle [of the Chinese people], but you always feel that there’s a champion behind us somewhere, like divine intervention.”
 

“I have faith, and I believe there’s somebody controlling our destiny, and pretty soon the ship will right [its course].” 
 

“I was getting cramps watching them. [The dancers’] footwork is phenomenal. … [and] smooth. You hardly heard their feet hit the stage. … They’ve got cotton feet.” 
 

“They’re incredibly gifted acrobats and dancers and actors. You could see the passion in their faces, and you’re kind of [rooting for] them sometimes.” 
 

“It was really neat the way that they (dancers) go onto the stage, and they dive [off the back and become] mythical, flying through the air. The precision was awesome. You forget that [the backdrop is] an image; you think that it’s really the mountains or the sky or the waterfalls.”
 

“[The erhu solo] was phenomenal.”
 

“I was sitting next to a person [who has] been to a lot of operas, and so I said, ‘Do you feel that?’ — the emotion in her (the soprano’s) voice, and the song she was singing. I was glad the backdrop showed the English translation [of her song].”
 

“We used to be based a lot in faith and respect, and we’ve moved away from that a little bit, and so we don’t want to follow that path. We want to get back on that path of believing in something higher than us. And that’s the message I got out of her song.”
 

“[I encourage the performers to] continue on. I know sometimes it’s a struggle because they probably have family back in China, [so] their family could be in peril, so I appreciate what they’re doing to send a message through to the rest of us. … I’m thankful for that, and I probably will come to another show now that I heard that they’re all different each year.”
 

“You have to come and see the dancers, who are phenomenal. … I’ll share the [Program Book] so that they can read the story messages, and say, ‘This is why you’ve got to come to learn more about the culture, the five thousand years of history.'”
 

“I go to a lot of ballets and operas and other performances, but I’ve never seen something like this. This is more than a performance – it’s real.” 

Jim Casteen, specialist at a Fortune 500 industrial supplies co
Costa Mesa, United States
Shen Yun New York Company
April 8, 2017