HOUSTON—There are some people who, when they finish watching Shen Yun Performing Arts for the first time, are simply overwhelmed. They’re still processing a profound and potentially life-altering experience, and their reflections upon exiting the auditorium are raw and powerful.
Rene Puente, who runs a door company in Houston, is an exemplar.
“It was an amazing show. Culturally speaking, it was more than amazing,” he said after watching New York-based Shen Yun at the Jones Hall for the Performing Arts on Dec. 23. With him was his friend Teresa Contreras, who supervises production at Hewlett Packard.
“It was more than I would have ever expected. I would recommend this to anyone who has ever wanted to broaden their horizons,” Mr. Puente said. “The stories behind the dances—I would not imagine that you could do so much just through dance and speak so many words and emotions. It was amazing, it really was.”
What got Mr. Puente were the ideas embedded and passed on through the dances—China’s thousands of years of cultural beliefs and visions of the divine. “With a country with all this belief, what it brought to it was that every segment, every part of the show meant something,” he said.
“I will always, always treasure this moment. I’m going to bring my daughter here and my family members. And I’m going to recommend everyone I know to come and see this show because it is really heartfelt. There is so much behind the culture that we Americans here take for granted.”
“I wish I could feel what they felt,” he said, referring to the dancers upon stage.
What he felt from them, he said, was simple: Love.
“I just felt love. I felt much love, compassion, understanding. And I know how to maybe treat people. It’s just pure love, pretty much. I would say love is what I learned tonight. Pure love. Yes ma’am. Pure love and honesty. It was truly, truly wonderful.”
One of the dances that stood out for him was “Monkey King and the Dragon Palace,” which tells a story from the beloved Chinese epic “Journey to the West.”
“There was nothing he could not do. He went to the bottom of the sea, and when others could not conquer, he did,” Mr. Puente said.
The lighthearted story had a profound effect.
“I don’t really know the understanding behind it, but what I gathered was that he just propelled himself. He believed that he could do what he did, and he did it when others could not. And I want to carry that through the rest of my life. No one will ever tell me that I cannot do something. And I will conquer, I will achieve, through that story—if it makes sense. But I have to research, make sure I understand what it meant, so I can fully use that and implement it into my life,” he said.
All these thoughts began the moment the show started, when the curtains went up.
“Oh my goodness … Every time the curtain went up it was just exhilarating. My adrenaline just stood up. I’m like, ‘I’m about to see something spectacular.’ And I’ve seen quite a few shows in my life, but this was just the most amazing. The show tonight was the most amazing.”
Mr. Puente felt like he’d gone on a journey. “What kind of journey? I feel pure, cleansed. I feel ashamed at some of the thoughts before I walked into here, of how I was. I will use what I learned tonight, like I said, in a journey through the rest of my life. … I know I will, and will research deeply and honestly what I saw tonight, and use every part of this. It’s just too much to take in in one night. I think you’d have to see it again, and there’s much understanding that we don’t have, that I didn’t know existed. So I will find out.”
Reporting by Sherry Dong and Matthew Robertson
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.