On Shen Yun’s last day of performances in Salt Lake City, audience attendees admired the effort to showcase an ancient culture through dance and music.
“It’s awesome. It’s beautiful. The colors and the movement and the backdrop—everything. It’s beautiful,” said Kyle Allcott, a graphic designer.
“The athleticism of these people,” said Dave Elton, a former professor. “And they gave us a little background, when they describe that this is where a lot of American ballet moves and gymnastic moves come from. Ah, mystery solved!”
Shen Yun performs classical Chinese dance, which is rooted in five millennia of Chinese civilization. Its origins go back to dances in ancient imperial palaces and folk traditions that were passed down through the generations.
“I think that any culture and civilization has to have a firm foundation upon which to move forward. And whether it’s through dance and music and performances such as this, it’s important for the next generation to know where they came from, and many, many generations before, too,” said Thomas Gandley, a colonel in the U.S. Army.
“It’s history and culture. And you can learn from those things,” said Allcott. “And so as you experience what and see what other people have lived through or gone through and how things have developed over the ages—I think that’s a valuable experience.”
Much of traditional Chinese culture was divinely inspired. But it was nearly lost after the Cultural Revolution under Communist China. Shen Yun’s mission is to revive it.
“Their belief in divinity and you could see the belief that that divinity would win through all of the challenges that their culture has faced and suppression that it’s seen,” said Chad Griffiths, a real estate developer.
He attended a performance with his wife and three daughters.
“I haven’t had a chance to study Chinese history yet in school, and this has inspired me to go find the resources I can and learn more because it is so fascinating and cool to see how, in spite of the differences, the Chinese culture has still lasted and has come back from the brink of extinction,” said his daughter, Abigail Griffiths.
“It’s very peaceful and calm, and emotional actually, especially towards the end when they had the divine Creator come down,” said Kirk Peterson, a professor. “I thought that was really special, especially in today’s world with the destruction that’s going on right now. Hopefully someday that will come to an end.”
NTD News, Salt Lake City, Utah