For radio host and author Michael Medved, seeing China’s 5,000-year-old culture portrayed through classical Chinese dance by Shen Yun Performing Arts was a unique experience.
“The performers are young, they are energetic, they are phenomenally acrobatic, they are very skilled. It’s certainly different from anything I have ever seen,” said Mr. Medved.
Mr. Medved is the host of The Michael Medved Show, a Seattle-based daily radio show that covers pop culture and politics.
“I think one of the things that’s very impressive about it is the sets, and the special effects with some of the dancers going into the sets and then coming back out of the sets. It’s extremely well staged, and again I can only imagine the amount of creativity and effort and expense that went into a production like this.”
In addition to traditional Chinese culture, Shen Yun tells stories of modern-day courage by practitioners of a traditional Chinese meditation practice. Falun Gong, or Falun Dafa, has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party for almost two decades. Because of its portrayal of Falun Gong’s persecution, Shen Yun has not been allowed to perform in China.
“A lot of devoted performers, and tremendous creativity, and I think it actually makes people aware of something that is seen very distant, which particularly the persecution of people involved with Falun Dafa. It’s such an ambitious way to try to familiarize people with obviously something this is a very serious meditation and spiritual discipline.”
Traditional Chinese culture is based on the idea of harmony between heaven, Earth, and humankind. Chinese culture was influenced by Taosim, Buddhism, and Confucianism, and traditional Chinese culture emphasized virtue and self-discipline in daily life.
In 1949, the Chinese Communist Party seized power. It set out to destroy peoples’ faith in the divine, and to replace that faith with a belief in the party. It framed traditional culture as backwards and sought to destroy it through a campaign that targeted “the four olds:” old customs, old culture, old habits, and old ideas.
“There is something about the communist system that Americans still are uncomfortable with that simply is intolerant, and partially because for people who are serious communists that’s the only true religion, and nothing else can exist, and that’s a great evil in the world, and some day, some day, that will be gone,” Mr. Medved added.
NTD News, Seattle, Washington