UC Berkeley Alumni Touched by Shen Yun

January 18, 2023

This year, Shen Yun Performing Arts has five performances at University of California, Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall. Some of the audience members, who are alumni of the university, were touched by the performance. They expressed appreciation for the history and culture that was presented.

“It was just so well done and so well put together. The time and the effort was so palpable,” U.C. Berkeley alumni Sarah Adler said of the Jan. 14 performance.

Mrs. Adler, a painter, watched the performance with her husband Matt Adler, also an alumni, and her parents.

They saw New York-based Shen Yun for the first time over the weekend with its display of classical Chinese dance, music, and innovation.

“It was just touching … deeply to my soul and my core, and really inspiring,” said Mr. Adler, who is an attorney at Faegre Drinker.

Stephan Johnson, a philosophy professor at City College of San Francisco, enjoyed Shen Yun’s live orchestra, the narration, and the classical Chinese dance.

“The dancing is impeccable. I liked the multimedia effect; the dancers jumping into the screen and off into the video. That was well done,” he said.

Alumni Ruben Avelar, a director at JobTrain, remarked on Shen Yun’s energy and the “synchronization of [the artists’] performance.”

Most of the artists practice Falun Gong, a Buddhist-based meditation system, currently persecuted by China’s ruling communist regime.

The artists aim to share with the world what China was like before the communist dictatorship brutally tried to eradicate spirituality and faith.

Mr. Johnson said, “What I think is interesting is how much Marxism and communism have changed China, more than a lot of people realize.”

He added, “Marxism has changed China away from its traditional cultural roots.”

Wayne Hankins, executive director of Northern California’s Universal Peace Federation, said, “We live at a time that it’s really almost a crossroads between good and evil. Which way are we going to go? And they clearly saw the time of renewal in the world where people believe in God, believe in goodness, believe in spirituality.”

“You can’t erase that. You can’t eliminate that from the Chinese people … It’s a part of the culture, just like the food,” Mr. Avelar added.

Shen Yun is currently not allowed to perform in China. Its mission is to showcase China’s 5,000 years of history to the world.

“We need it more than ever right now, especially post-pandemic. And with everyone being separated in lockdown, it’s been really important to bring people back together and to remember our legacies and our stories and our history—pre-pandemic,” Mrs. Adler said.

“It will be vital forever. There’s a reason why these dances have lasted thousands of years and this culture is so important to preserve,” added Mr. Adler.

Some of Shen Yun’s upcoming west coast performances are in Folsom, Fresno, Modesto, and Colorado in January—and Sacramento in February.

Reporting in Berkeley, California, David Lam, NTD News