DENVER—An English author once said, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” If this is true, then the dance and music that Shen Yun Performing Arts is utilizing to renew China’s 5,000 years of civilization is undoubtedly mightier than an army.
Adrian Hood is a connections pastor. He shared how New York-based Shen Yun showed bravery in its performance.
“I find it to be very traditional, which I love. It’s not afraid to even show some of the modern-day stuff. How the tradition that China has that’s thousands of years old has been silenced, almost. It’s only alive because of performances like these,” shared Mr. Hood.
Shen Yun is using classical Chinese dance and music as its voice to share the beauty of China before communism with the world.
“It’s good for people to see that, to get back to more traditional values. I think we all believe in that at our core,” said Mr. Hood.
Shen Yun‘s singers perform in the traditional bel canto style of singing. The song text is written by Shen Yun’s Artistic Director, D.F., and translations of the text are projected on the digital backdrop so that audiences around the world can read and follow along.
“I really liked the song the gentleman was singing about atheism is a deception, things like that,” said Mr. Hood.
Mr. Hood shared his views on how having a belief is an anchor to morality.
When you have a belief in something that’s higher than you, it kind of forces you to want to do good things and aspire to do good things and be good to other people.
“I think deep down people have an inherent belief in a Creator and things that are higher than them. When you have a belief in something that’s higher than you, it kind of forces you to want to do good things and aspire to do good things and be good to other people,” said Mr. Hood.
Being a pastor, he expressed that the spiritual aspect of the performance really stood out. One dance spoke of the persecution of practitioners of Falun Gong in China. Although Falun Gong teaches people to follow the principles of truth, compassion, and forbearance, helping millions find health and happiness, the Chinese Communist Party would not stand for its popularity. In 1999, it utilized the entire state apparatus to launch a persecution of Falun Gong practitioners, which is ongoing today.
Mr. Hood described the story-based dance depiction of such events on stage, and how despite the communist regime “trying to crush what a lot of people believe in,” Shen Yun showed the beautiful side of the story as well. The artists showed the beauty of the people’s faith, their courage to persist regardless of circumstances, and the relationship between humankind and the divine.
“I think that’s beautiful. People will still hold onto those things,” said Mr. Hood.
Reporting by Sunny Chen and Maria Han.