NEW YORK—A standing ovation culminated a performance of the most ancient culture in the world at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater.
Michael Andrews, managing partner and founder of Hawkstone Capital Group, was among the audience that enjoyed Shen Yun Performing Arts on April 24.
“I love it,” he said.
The Hawkstone Capital Group is a merchant bank providing equity and advisory support to energy companies. Mr. Andrews was previously an executive vice president at the Fortune 500 company General Cable, and currently sits on the board of Mercury Cable and Energy, and chairs the board for Castelmec Holdings.
Shen Yun is based in New York and tours across the globe purveying the Chinese culture, which spans back 5,000 years. The culture is replete with myths and legends that Shen Yun draws on, as well as principles and virtues such as respect for the heavens, propriety, wisdom, and sincerity, according to the company’s website.
Mr. Andrews said the traditional culture in the performance stuck out to him.
“It kind of reminds me of our old traditions,” he said. “Here in America, being from an Italian background, we lose our traditions, we lose our family values.”
“I’m very old-fashioned, very old-school, and I believe in tradition from your background, you should know where you came from, believe in that and still keep some of the values,” he said.
A couple themes that stood out to him in the performance were respect and harmony with nature.
The traditional Chinese culture began by being imparted to humans by the divine, according to Shen Yun’s website, thus the land has been known since ancient times as the “Celestial Empire.”
Under the influence of Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism, Chinese culture “has spawned a rich and profound system of values,” according to the website, including the five cardinal virtues of benevolence, righteousness, propriety, wisdom, and faithfulness.
Mr. Andrews also gained new insights into how traditional culture is being treated in today’s China.
“I didn’t know anything about that, that’s amazing. It’s also very sad that something like that goes on,” he said, referring to a scene depicting the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in modern China.
Falun Gong is a meditation practice based on truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. It attracted roughly 100 million practitioners after its introduction to the public in the early 1990’s. The ruling communist regime then launched a vicious campaign against it.
Though Shen Yun cannot perform in communist China, being based in New York allows its artistic creators “to freely express themselves and revive their ancient Chinese culture,” according to Shen Yun’s website.
“Such artistic freedom is unfortunately not present in China under the communist regime, which has co-opted and destroyed traditional arts,” it adds. “The courage and outspokenness of our artists is one of the reasons why Shen Yun is so well-loved.”
Reporting by Hannah Cai and Zachary Stieber
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.
Shen Yun Performing Arts is performing at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center through April 28.
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.