Costa Mesa Audience: Shen Yun’s Depiction of Faith Makes a Deep Impression

March 8, 2023

COSTA MESA, California—Shen Yun Performing Arts wrapped up its fourth show in Costa Mesa, California. An audience member noted the story-based dances left a deep impression on him.

“I think the stories with respect to when the mother died and had to give up her baby, that was very, for me, that was incredible,” said Kevin Mayberry, president of Kempton Solutions. “And also really kind of the persecution of the people that were trying to carry on their faith. And they weren’t allowed to do that. That really hit me hard.”

Shen Yun’s dance form is called classical Chinese dance, which dates back thousands of years and is based on ancient Chinese culture. According to Shen Yun’s official website, the dance is rich with expressive power, capable of “bringing out the inner meaning of thoughts and feelings” and “reflecting the peculiarities of human nature.”

In addition to folk dances, Shen Yun’s performance also includes story-based dances. These mini-dramas portray stories from past and present, including Beijing’s ongoing persecution against believers of Falun Gong, a spiritual meditation based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.

“I think it’s extremely important in that everybody has a right to what they believe. And they need to express that. And if they’re, quite frankly, being oppressed, that’s just not a good thing,” said Mayberry. “So it’s such a great thing that Shen Yun can come here and portray that message to people. I think we here in this country, kind of take that for granted.”

Shen Yun’s mission is to revive China’s 5,000 years of traditional culture. A culture almost lost under communist rule. Now, with eight companies traveling across five continents, the classical Chinese dance company is spreading the culture around the world, but it’s not allowed to perform in China.

“I thought it was very educational to understand that the culture that was so rich, and so deep, is not allowed to express itself right now,” said Thomas Thomsen, owner of Thomsen Leadership Consulting LLC. “And so it was really, really a gift to be able to see that expression, through the dancers and through the music, and then also through the narrators. It was really great.”

And on Shen Yun’s mission to revive the traditional culture, Thomsen noted that is one hard task. “And I really give them credit for taking it step by step for every person that comes here and is able to see it. I think it’s that little grain that grows into a big tree, and people will begin to see it and talk about it and learn. And so I think they do a great job. They really do.”

He added that traditional values are needed right now.

“When the baritone singer was singing, and I think the last phrase is, hang on to those things, my words, not his. But hang on to those things that are important, the freedom, the value of … I’m going to say family too, but I thought those kinds of messages are really important for everyone today also,” Thomsen said.

Shen Yun will continue to tour in California, including stops in Claremont, Thousand Oaks, and San Diego.

NTD News, Costa Mesa, California