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ROCKFORD, Ill.—Financial advisor Carl Gnewuch was amazed by the beauty of Shen Yun after attending its evening show on March 1 at the Coronado Performing Arts Center.
Though Mr. Gnewuch thoroughly enjoyed himself, there was a nagging question he simply couldn’t comprehend.
“It was beautiful! I find it difficult to believe that China would not want to celebrate that. It’s gorgeous—such history and culture, and diversity. I don’t know why China doesn’t want to see this,” he said.
“I share many of the same thoughts and sentiments that were expressed here today.”
Founded by leading Chinese artists who had fled the persecution of China’s communist regime, Shen Yun Performing Arts’ mission is to bring back China’s lost culture and showcase the beauty of China before communism.
Every year, the New York-based performing arts company presents a brand-new set of programs to audiences in prestigious venues worldwide.
However, for its insistence on speaking out about the atrocities happening in modern-day China under communist rule, Shen Yun is currently banned by the regime from performing in China.
A Christian himself, Mr. Gnewuch was impressed by Shen Yun’s portrayal of spirituality.
He thought it’s relevant to our modern world because “that’s our chance to work together and speak a common language,” he said. “It transcends all boundaries. Spirituality brings healing and brings us together.”
Upon learning that Shen Yun artists practice Falun Gong—a peaceful meditation of the Buddhist tradition—Mr. Gnewuch said he thought the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance were well-represented in the performance.
“They very much [came through]—forbearance especially,” he said. “That sense of letting go and putting up with each other and allowing each other to be the people who we need to be—who we’ve been made to be.”
In addition, Mr. Gnewuch loved how Shen Yun’s live orchestra incorporated classical Western and traditional Chinese instruments.
According to its website, Shen Yun’s pioneering orchestration is the first in the world to “blend the spirit and beauty of Chinese music with the power and grandeur of a Western symphony orchestra.”
“I think it’s a beautiful way of expressing the unity that we share across cultures and throughout the world,” Mr. Gnewuch exclaimed. “Again, I don’t understand why [China] wouldn’t want to see this everywhere. It helps us live in peace and unity.”
Reporting by Nancy Ma and Jennifer Tseng.