For John Robert Broomfield, Shen Yun’s many different vignettes were surprising, as were the dancers’ “immaculate costumes.”
But what really surprised the retired president of a management consultancy firm was the performance’s underlying message. Speaking after the matinee performance at London’s Eventim Apollo on April 27, Broomfield said this message was “very clear” and that he “totally agreed with that sentiment.”
“You know there’s a supreme being and there’s a force greater than you that you are living your life for. And that force is not the communist party. Because communism is inherently evil,” Broomfield said. “It deprives the individual of their freedom and dictates how they act and think.” “I was in Tiananmen Square and I could see the members of the communist party keeping an eye on things. It was scary and there’s no need for it. I think people don’t need that sort of regime,” he said.
China was at one time called the divine land. For thousands of years, Chinese people have observed values and principles stemming from this belief, including truthfulness, righteousness, and propriety.
These traditions continued uninterrupted in China from generation to generation up until they were almost decimated during the Cultural Revolution.
“Such traditional values which we’ve lost—values of discipline and hard work and commitment and a joy in what [you’re] doing—and portraying that joy to the audience is very inspiring,” said Michael Cooper, a lawyer who watched Shen Yun at London’s Eventim Apollo on April 24. “I thought that was very sad and that somehow maybe the people in China were missing out on what we were able to enjoy here tonight,”
According to the program book, Shen Yun artists draw inspiration from the spiritual discipline Falun Dafa and strive to live by the principles of truth, compassion, and tolerance. But since the late 1990s, Falun Dafa practitioners in China have faced harsh persecution.
One story that depicts this modern day persecution on stage is called “Goodness in the Face of Evil.” In the piece, a girl who practices Falun Dafa is jailed and subjected to forced organ harvesting. But in the end, her goodness triumphs over evil.
“I happen to know about them from the petitions but I’m sure the majority of people that come here didn’t know but now do know,” Cooper said. “It’s one of the few occasions when Falun Dafa can get their voice known and their message known in a very gentle, harmonious, peaceful, and entertaining way.”
Broomfield added: “It’s the only way really, ultimately we’re put on this earth to help each other, to serve each other. It’s the responsibility of government to serve the people and not to serve the party.” He said the performance as a whole was “enough to melt the heart of party members.”
NTD News, London