EDMONTON, Canada—While action movies depict heroes as people with super powers, in real life, the people making a difference in the world are not too different from the common man. Since 2006, Shen Yun Performing Arts has been using its talent to show audiences around the world the evil of communism as well as the beauty of traditional Chinese culture.
“I think it really showed a division of good and bad, right? So you have people all across the world, they just want better for people. But then you have people that are trying to instill laws and standards that are just not in a loving way or in a religious way,” said Noelan Chapman, an engineer.
Shen Yun is based in New York and is dedicated to reviving 5,000 years of Chinese civilization, a China before communism.
“It shows that communism is very self-centered, self-serving, and elitist. We don’t believe in that at all. So people that think they know better, they know what you should have, what you should say,” said Elaine Chapman, a business development manager.
Although Shen Yun’s dances mostly depict the beauty of miracles of China’s dynasties, Shen Yun also raises awareness of the atrocities that are still happening in present-day China.
“The one thing that bothered me is that this is happening now in China, present time. That was gut-wrenching. We’re out enjoying this and that’s happening over there,” said Mrs. Chapman.
Before communism, whether it be the Tang, Han, or Qing dynasties, China was a land of spirituality and deep respect for the divine.
“This is our first time here at the Jubilee and I really enjoyed it. It showed the struggles of China and then it also showed the morals and virtues that the culture had,” said Mr. Chapman.
Chinese culture spoke highly of those who were exemplary in being loyal and those who displayed filial piety. Shen Yun dances often remind audiences of the importance of interacting with each other face-to-face.
“We lost touch of family bond and a cultural bond. I think we need to get back to peace,” said Mr. Chapman.
“What I would like to see is to get back to those roots. We lost touch of morals and virtues, and we need to get back to that,” he added.
Shen Yun’s dancers are trained in Classical Chinese dance. With thousands of years of history, many sports such as gymnastics or even street dancing can be traced back to classical Chinese dance.
“I know there’s been a lot of training because I was a competitive gymnast when I was young. So I know, I look at them and go, whoa. Kudos to them. Like they’ve put in a lot of time. You can see that. It’s beautiful,” said Mrs. Chapman.
“Very beautiful. There’s a definite beautiful, virtuous side,” she added.
Shen Yun’s dances often depict kind and good people who receive aid or protection from the divine when they are facing adversity.
“We are faith-filled, spiritual people. So we connected with that. We understand that. Because all good, virtuous faith and spirituality is based in kindness, unconditional love, looking out for each other, that sort of thing,” said Mrs. Chapman.
Reporting by Lily Yu 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.