NEW YORK—Miguel Montes, director of public relations for the East Harlem Journal, seeks to bring cultures and people together through his media work, and also through his work as director of the Educational Excellence Creating Empowered Leaders (EXCEL) college preparation program for the Children’s Aid Foundation.
When he saw Shen Yun Performing Arts at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater on April 25, he said, “I think the show will bring me more energy and more enthusiasm to work with young people, to be able to inspire them.”
He said the New York-based performance company, which revives 5,000 years of Chinese culture, will help him in his work “to create new critical thinkers, to inspire young people to get out of the box and really begin to look at society as a whole in a way that brings cultures, and brings people together.”
The performance includes ancient legends as well as scenes of contemporary life in China.
“It was moving for me, because I can’t imagine how so many people today are being persecuted for what they believe and what they think,” Mr. Montes said.
Shen Yun’s mission is to revive ancient Chinese culture, held to be divinely inspired—a culture nearly lost under the communist regime, beginning with the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s.
The Shen Yun website explains, “Over its past 60 years of rule, the communist regime has treated traditional Chinese values, centered on the idea of harmony between heaven and earth, as a threat to its existence.”
Attorney Don Chiert, who was also at the performance on April 25, took away a message of hope: “It was a very positive and upbeat message that even if they try to keep it down, that the people will break through, and that rich tradition will live on.”
Mr. Chiert noted the contrast between modern China—“very industrial and mechanical”—and the ancient culture presented by Shen Yun—“there’s a rich spiritual tradition, which really comes through.”
“I really, really enjoyed that,” he said.
“I’m thinking that more and more people are having the spiritual, if not reawakening, at least some kind of awareness of it,” Mr. Chiert said. “We could all get lost, with all the technology, and get very distracted from our spiritual side. But when people do get in touch with the spiritual side and see that other people from different cultures have the same spiritual side, it’s a very positive thing.”
Reporting by NTD Television, Hannah Cai, and Tara MacIsaac
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.