Tears and Triumph: Shen Yun’s Emotional Impact on Chinese Audiences

May 25, 2024

A mission to revive 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture from before communism—that’s the goal driving classical Chinese dance company Shen Yun Performing Arts to travel the globe with eight touring companies. Many audience members were originally from mainland China, and for many of them, the experience moved them to tears.

Some of them have shared their thoughts about Shen Yun after watching a performance.

“I am very honored and very excited. I was crying just now, and it was especially moving,” said Ms. Chen. “I think [Shen Yun] is really pure, kind, and beautiful. I finally understand what ‘pure’ means.”

“All the choreography and the dances are impeccable. I feel like I’m in Heaven. I see the dancers’ beautiful figures. I feel like I am from [Heaven],” said Lisa Liu.

“I was very touched to see how hard Shen Yun and all the crew work and how they show such joy, such happiness, such beauty, such a wish from the bottom of their hearts to bring goodness to others,” she added. “I am very happy to see (Shen Yun) here, and I have a special wish: I wish my family could see Shen Yun!”

“Shen Yun is not just a performance. I think the effort [Shen Yun] pursues to revive the soul of Chinese culture is a very sacred cause and a cause worthy of all Chinese people,” said Hongbing Yuan.

“China’s largest disaster is actually the catastrophe of national subjugation and the annihilation of our culture after the establishment of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The CCP’s party culture has turned China into a Marxist-Leninist colony. There is no greater sorrow than a heart that has died. It’s the death of a nation and of a country’s soul,” he said.

“As a Chinese person, I feel very happy. In addition, some of the religious culture that Shen Yun promotes, whether it is traditional culture or teaching people to be good, I am also very happy with it,” said Jason Wang. “I will get some inspiration, and I will try my best to do well in the future. When I go abroad, I will not bring shame to us Chinese people. I will do my best and then try my best to influence others. This is what it means to me; [it’s] an inspiration.”

Ancient Chinese people believed that their culture was inspired by the Divine. But the CCP has been systematically destroying those 5,000 years of traditions ever since it took control in 1949. Chinese audience members expressed deep appreciation for Shen Yun’s efforts to bring it back to life on stage.

“Most of the time, traditional Chinese culture has been destroyed beyond recognition. People just make fun of it and change history. When we watch Shen Yun, we can see the real Chinese tradition, the real parts of culture. ‘Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance’, these three essences are reflected,” said Mingquan Fang.

“I was shocked when I saw Shen Yun. I saw a China without communism. I saw that before communism came to power in China, China had very elegant art and very touching stories. It’s also a beautiful art. I think the biggest shock to me is that Shen Yun has improved the image of Chinese people among overseas Chinese,” said Dianjun Jiang. “I think the greatest significance of Shen Yun is that it allows us Chinese to remember these excellent ancient cultures of China, and we can pass on this excellent culture and values.”

“Shen Yun uses dance to interpret ‘Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance.’ In today’s complicated world, we need such a clear stream [of fresh water]. Tell the truth, do good deeds, and let our people live happily,” said Mr. Hu.

Some audience members from China, now living overseas, voiced hope that Shen Yun would one day be able to perform in China.

“Shen Yun preserves the spark of our Chinese culture. This must be performed all over the world, especially in mainland China, one day so that our traditional culture can be reborn. So that the spirit of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance can be rekindled in our land of China,” said Yan Liu.

“[Shen Yun] gives everyone a bright direction. I hope more people will come to watch it. Shen Yun is not just for people who like art and religion. You must watch it no matter how old you are. You will definitely be very happy,” said Shusha Chen. “After seeing this, I feel that there will always be hope for mankind, and everyone must endure and follow Truth, Compassion, and Forbearance. I sincerely hope that one day Shen Yun can perform in Hong Kong and mainland China.”

“My feeling is that Chinese art is great and very profound. Especially the Shen Yun Performing Arts company can express it so profoundly and convey it so vividly that people from all over the world can watch it. I think It’s a very great thing. As a Chinese person, I am very proud. I have said before that I really hope that Shen Yun Performing Arts can return to China to convey this message to more people in mainland China and to let people all over the world accept it,” said Yuanyuan.

Shen Yun artists bring an all-new program for audiences to enjoy every season, including new dances, music, and legends.

NTD News, New York