BOSTON, Mass.—Richard Swett, a former member of U.S. Congress and former U.S. Ambassador to Denmark, is among Shen Yun Performing Arts’ many fans worldwide.
“I’ve seen the show in Washington; I’ve seen the show in New York; I’ve seen the show in Boston. It’s great to be here again,” said Mr. Swett, now CEO of Climate Prosperity Enterprise Solutions.
Mr. Swett attended Shen Yun‘s opening show in Boston at the Boch Center Wang Theatre with his wife, Katrina, on Dec. 28.
Though he had seen Shen Yun many times, there was something special to be found each time.
“The story changes, they have different depictions, and it’s always enjoyable to see the new versions, and this has been really quite enjoyable,” Mr. Swett said.
Shen Yun, based in New York, is the world’s top classical Chinese dance company, with a mission to revive the beauty and goodness of China before communism.
Mr. Swett said that Shen Yun’s depiction of China’s traditional culture needs to be understood by more people.
It’s a side people today may not be aware of, he said.
“I think that this is the part of Chinese culture that many people don’t see, that many people just think of China as communist mainland China. They don’t see the spiritual aspects of it, they don’t see the beautiful classical dance,” he said.
“So I think that this is a depiction of the culture that needs to be understood by more people,” he said.
“You can tell by the full theatre that they enjoy it,” he said.
Producer: Shen Yun Shares Culture, ‘Actually Causes Your Brain to Work on a Higher Level’
Joan Quinn Eastman, producer and former broadcaster, has 25 years of experience in the media. On Dec. 28, she found in Shen Yun Performing Arts the tremendous power of connection.
When the curtains drew open, she saw a scene flooded with color, the image of the Creator, and the divinely inspired origins of 5,000 years of China before communism.
“It’s universal spiritual messaging; we’re all connected by spirit, we’re connected by love, we’re connected by faith,” Ms. Eastman said after the performance.
“Faith is what distinguishes us from animals; it’s what establishes us, we’re actually spiritual beings having a human experience, and this is a way of elevating your spirit—seeing this magnificent show,” she said.
Ms. Eastman said the message she perceived was that “we are all connected, that we must have faith and rise above our fears, and stand fearlessly for what we believe in, and in this particular case, it’s the stand against communism and stand for freedom, and it’s a message that the United States could really take to heart right now, and learn from what’s happened in China.”
Shen Yun was formed in New York in 2006 by artists in pursuit of freedom of belief and quickly became the world’s top classical Chinese dance company. It has since grown to eight equally sized companies and is set to visit more than 180 cities globally this season.
Ms. Eastman shared that her Christian friend is deeply spiritual, and when the two of them walked out during intermission, they were sharing about the amazing connections enabled by Shen Yun.
“How the spiritual messaging is universal to all beliefs, no matter what you believe, but we all divine within, we are spiritual, we all connected, and that’s what so important,” she said.
“This is truly a gift that you’re sharing—magnificent performance. All of these young people are so extraordinary! They’re so athletic and skilled and precise in their expressions and their movements so graceful, so beautiful,” she said, adding she was “really, really glad” to have made it to see the performance.
“It was electric, and we’re three rows back from the front, so I could actually see the expressions of every one of the performers; I was able to study every one of them; it’s a magnificent troupe. And you can see that they work together with such precision and such skill it’s a magnificent thing to behold, it really is,” she said.
“The colors, the music, the synchronicity, the precision with which all the dancers move is truly phenomenal. The level of skill is astonishing, and it’s a wonderful example of how people can realize their potential,” Ms. Eastman said.
She shared her appreciation for the performers: “It’s such a gift for them to share their gift with us, the grace, the beauty, the music, the stories, the suffering, the persecution, it’s wonderful that you are keeping your culture alive and sharing it with the world because it is so enriching.”
Shen Yun was a performance that Ms. Eastman had wanted and waited to see for years, having heard recommendations from many, including Chinese nationals in America.
“I’m so happy that I finally did. I find it tremendously moving; very enriching,” she said. “Culture actually causes your brain to work on a higher level, and that’s one of the biggest reasons that it’s so important and valuable, so I really appreciate [Shen Yun] sharing [the] culture.”
Reporting by EET and NTD News