FAIRFAX, Va.—Voice-over artist Bob Brotzman attended Shen Yun Performing Arts for the fifth time on March 11, 2020, and admired anew its performers’ hard work and dedication as well as the uplifting scenes in its dances. “Two times at Kennedy Center and I think three times here [in Virginia],” he recalled fondly, about past seasons he had been to.
“I love the program. It is wonderful. It’s a great ethos. There is a lot of positivity. It is great to see young people with so much talent and dedication like you see with [Shen Yun]. It is a lot of fun,” he said after Shen Yun’s performance at the George Mason University Center for the Arts in Fairfax, Virginia.
Brotzman remarked on the fact that New York-based Shen Yun offers an entirely new show each year and explained how much he enjoys seeing its new dances as well as up-and-coming young dancers as they change and grow every season.
Shen Yun’s mission is to revive traditional Chinese culture and share it with the world. For millennia, Chinese people have passed down exquisite art forms as well as beliefs and practices that are deeply spiritual and that acknowledge the Creator and other divine beings.
Shen Yun carries on these traditions by sharing depictions of heavenly realms and ancient legends. Buddhism and Daoism are also referenced, as they are important spiritual practices that permeated life in China before communist rule began.
Brotzman appreciated this spiritual element in Shen Yun. “I do,” he said. “It is a different approach to spirituality than maybe what Westerners are used to. But I would say a lot of it is universal.”
Some of the universal values that he saw are truth and compassion, which are part of the teachings of Falun Dafa, an ancient Chinese meditation practice that promotes a principled lifestyle and which appears in Shen Yun in the form of characters who follow it. Unfortunately, as part of the Chinese Communist Party’s attempt to wipe out traditional Chinese culture, Falun Dafa is severely persecuted today. Shen Yun portrays scenes from these real-life events, including the hopefulness and compassion exhibited by the spiritual practitioners amidst persecution.
“You know it is hard to watch some of the scenes of the persecution. I think people of any faith that are persecuted around the world deserve our respect and our support as much as possible,” Brotzman said.
If he were to take a message home with him from Shen Yun, it would be “I think even in dark times, there’s always light.”
With reporting by NTD Television and Brett Featherstone.
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time and has covered audience reactions since the company’s inception in 2006.