PORTLAND, Ore.—Project manager Cynthia Latorre and her husband attended Shen Yun’s evening performance on Jan. 21 at the Keller Auditorium after seeing online ads and hearing recommendations from friends. At the end of the evening the couple agreed that Shen Yun was “very worth it.”
“I think it was lovely. It actually brought me to tears a few times to see the history and the culture, and the beauty that it brings,” said Mrs. Latorre.
The mission of New York-based Shen Yun is to bring back China’s lost culture and its belief in the divine through beautiful art. Since its advent in 2006, the performing arts company has grown to become a global sensation with eight equally sized companies set to perform in more than 180 cities worldwide.
Mrs. Latorre said what really got to her was Shen Yun’s depiction of the Chinese Communist Party’s persecution of Falun Gong, a peaceful meditation practie based in Buddhist beliefs.
“The spiritual aspect [of the show] is what touches your heart and touches your soul. It’s uplifting,” she said. “I believe that everyone should have a right to be who they are and to worship what they would like.”
Prior to the communist takeover in 1949 and the regime’s spread of atheism, Chinese people had a deep belief in the divine. In fact, the whole foundation of China’s civilization was built on values and virtues from the spiritual teachings of Buddhism, Daoism, and Confucianism.
Referring to the communist regime’s ban on Shen Yun from performing in China, Mrs. Latorre said, “it’s just so sad because this is the tradition of the people. It should be celebrated.”
She stressed that tradition is “absolutely important” and it’s something that we must keep alive because there is so much to learn from it.
“It’s ironic. We got to enjoy here—a lot of traditional Chinese culture—but it’s not allowed in China. It’s quite an irony,” Mr. Latorre added.
“I think traditions allow us to reconnect to our ancestors and remember where we come from. It’s very important to preserve it even as we push towards a beautiful future, he said. “It’s good to remember where we come from.”
Reporting by Frank Zhang and Jennifer Tseng.
The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of Shen Yun Performing Arts. We have covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.