BUFFALO, N.Y.—After many years of wanting to see Shen Yun Performing Arts, Yaron Perry, a lung surgeon at the University of Buffalo, and Anna Blumental-Perry, a biology researcher at the University, were finally able to attend a matinee performance at Shea’s Buffalo Theatre in Buffalo, N.Y. on June 11.
“I think they’re amazing,” Dr. Perry said. “I can tell you, we’ve been to so many shows and competitions—this is on a different level!”
“The art should speak for itself; it speaks for them and speaks for what they’re representing,” he said. “As excellent as they are, [Shen Yun] highly represents their mission … to keep justice and to keep the traditions of the Chinese people.”
Based in New York, Shen Yun is the world’s premier classical Chinese dance company. With a mission to revive and preserve China’s 5,000-year-old traditional culture, the company presents authentic folk dances, solo performances, and story-based, classical Chinese dances that tell the tales from ancient times to the modern-day.
Accompanied by a live orchestra that blends ancient Chinese instruments into a Western orchestra, Shen Yun journeys through heavenly realms and stories of heroic legends that shaped the culture of China’s divinely inspired middle kingdom.
Mrs. Perry said: “It’s interesting to see that somebody preserved this tradition that is not allowed [in China], but [that’s] so beautiful and based on so many years of learning, developing, and improving.”
Dr. Perry was very pleased to experience the representation of China predating communism and the spirituality and values that are missing in the current regime. He found it amazing that Shen Yun not only has the desire to revive the “old, innocent, and real culture” of ancient China but they also have the “power and talent to do it.”
“I can see back to the foundations, to the religions. … I think there’s a lot of things there that are really missing, especially after the communism takeover,” he said. “I’m very sorry that they can’t come back to their own land because of that, which is really a shame.”
“Materialism … is meaningless compared to this eternal justice or eternal life,” he added, which can “give some hope to the people that something better can happen.”
In addition to representing myths and legends, Shen Yun presents story-based dances portraying the persecution of Falun Dafa, a meditation discipline based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.
In 1999, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched a persecution campaign against the spiritual practice, and practitioners have since been subjected to unprecedented imprisonment, torture, and abuse. One dance piece from this year’s Shen Yun program depicts the state-orchestrated crime of forced organ harvesting from Falun Dafa prisoners in China.
As a thoracic surgeon, Mr. Perry said he had traveled to China and was familiar with the hospitals in Beijing and Nanjing.
“What’s projected here is … familiar for me. I think it’s a shame that medical professions are dealing with such a discrepancy—instead of taking care of the patients and the people, they take care of different interests—which is very, very bad,” he said.
Reporting by NTD and Jennifer Schneider.