JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—Audience members often leave a Shen Yun performance feeling emotions such as hope, happiness, or even a lighter body.
It was no different for painter Katie Boyer who said that she would be leaving Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts with a wide smile on her face.
“I have to drive home for an hour and I was worried about being sleepy—I’m not going to be sleepy. I will be wide awake and smiling!” She said.
While experiencing the performance, she was also filled with joy.
“So much joy! I smiled through the whole thing! I couldn’t stop laughing, joyfully!” she said.
New York-based Shen Yun is dedicated to presenting China before communism. This goes hand-in-hand with China’s 5,000 years of civilization being divinely inspired.
Ms. Boyer felt this divine inspiration resonate deeply with her.
“It followed the same kind of things I believe, that everyone here is divine, that everyone’s here for a divine purpose, that it’s all connected,” she said.
In ancient China, it was said that music should come before medicine when treating ailments. The five major organs are linked to the five notes of the pentatonic scale, so using music as a remedy was not out of the question.
“I had never heard that some of the most ancient forms of Chinese medicine was music,” she said. “I’m going to go home and look that up.”
Robert Ingrum was also in the audience. He was glad to see that Shen Yun was raising awareness of crimes happening in China.
“I had no idea that the depth of the culture and Falun Dafa, that sort of practice that [is] so beautiful, and it’s so important to the human spirit and the human soul,” he said. “Well, that’s exactly what communism wants to crush. China is beautiful and now it’s just been ruined and taken over by evil. It’s going to change, it has to change. God will not let this go on. But in the meantime, the Chinese people are suffering so horribly. It just breaks my heart.”
Shen Yun’s dances tell stories of ancient China as well as modern China. One of the pieces tells the story of a practitioner of Falun Gong being persecuted for her faith. As a result of Shen Yun’s efforts to raise awareness of this atrocity, many audience members around the world are raising their concerns about the unfair treatment of these prisoners of conscience.
“Most Americans don’t know that’s going on. It’s so important that they find out because that’s the sort of thing that would appall the average American,” Mr. Ingrum said.
Reporting by Teng Dongyu, Sally Sun, and Maria Han.