NEW YORK—The right to expression should not be a privilege, but in China, only the voice of the government is heard. Shen Yun Performing Arts strives to share the beauty of “China before communism” with the world, and as result is being censored in China.
Mike Minor is an executive vice president in clinical research. Having been to China, he could tell that New York-based Shen Yun is different from anything he’s seen in China.
“I think the expression of the culture is really quite different. It’s homogeneous. I’ve been to Beijing, I’ve been to China, and it’s not as colorful, it’s not as dynamic, and I think the ethnicity is missing,” Mr. Minor said.
He expressed his disappointment for Shen Yun not being able to perform in China.
“It’s sad that the people are training here in the United States and not in China. Culturally, they’re Chinese, and there should be an opportunity to express their artistry. I don’t think [this] happens today, everything is repressed.”
Shen Yun’s dancers are trained in classical Chinese dance, an ancient dance form that has been popularized by Shen Yun.
“The physical attributes of these people are really amazing! They’re really quite athletic. The choreography is great and their gymnastics and balance of dance is just really tremendous,” commented Mr. Minor.
Although gymnastics is seen as an independent sport, it actually originates from classical Chinese dance.
Phillip Ferrone, an ophthalmologist, and his wife Jeanine, a physical therapist, were also in the audience on March 19.
Having also been to China, they noticed that China was a different experience for tourists than it is for the people living there.
“We visited China once in 2000 and once in 2010, but some of the subtleties that we just saw in the previous scene we didn’t pick up when we were visiting there as tourists. It’s good to see some of these realities we read in the news and [this] just makes it all clearer. How wonderful free society is to let people express themselves without restrictions,” Mr. Ferrone said.
Mrs. Ferrone added that she was glad that Shen Yun could enjoy the freedom of expression outside of China and share their mission with the world.
“I think that freedom of expression and being able to be free and dance and express yourself is a wonderful thing, and it’s expressed in colors and music and [the] happiness of the dancers.”
The costumes for each dance are handmade for Shen Yun‘s new production every year. Shen Yun’s costume design reflects the attire worn by the men and ladies of the different dynasties portrayed on stage.
“I love the costumes, they’re so magnificent, and the colors and the dancers are so talented, and I loved to learn about the stories and the history of China,” Mrs. Ferrone said.
The elegance of the dance and the beauty of the costumes and movement really resonated with Mr. Ferrone.
“It was almost water-like—beautiful,” he said.
Reporting by Frank Liang and Maria Han
The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of Shen Yun Performing Arts. We have covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.