BOSTON—Jonathan Harper, Director of Athletics at Rivier University, was blown away by the athleticism of Shen Yun Performing Arts dancers on Dec. 29 at the Boch Center Wang Theatre.
“That type of athleticism you don’t see every day, that’s for sure,” Mr. Harper said. “I was truly intrigued.”
New York-based Shen Yun is the top classical Chinese dance company in the world, and since its inception in 2006 has revived this once nearly-lost art form, witnessed by millions of audience members worldwide.
Mr. Harper was impressed with more than the technique and artistry of the dancers; he described the experience as overwhelming in its content and essence as well.
“It was an unbelievable experience—to experience that type of culture, and that it’s banned in China right now,” Mr. Harper said.
The China most people know today is a nation under communist rule. Shen Yun’s mission is to revive the authentic beauty and goodness of China before communism, and Mr. Harper described that experience:
It’s an experience that I’ve never had before in America, where you get to feel that spiritual connection back to ancient Chinese culture, so it’s tremendous.
“It‘s an experience that I’ve never had before in America, where you get to feel that spiritual connection back to ancient Chinese culture, so it’s tremendous,” he said. It gave him a sense of calm, and a feeling of focus.
“You’re transfixed just by the music and the color and the dance, and overwhelmed by the total experience,” he said. The performers exuded “tremendous energy! It came from the stage through the orchestra and the folks around us really enjoyed the show.
This vision of China was one that Deacon Steve Minninger felt was a great message.
“It was a beautiful performance and very inspiring. The fact that we all need to turn to our Creator and turn our lives around, it’s a great message,” said Mr. Minninger, a retired financial analyst, who saw the matinee performance with his wife Becky Minninger.
What stood out for Mrs. Minniger was “the talent and the goodness of the performers, urging us to a good life, to think of others and to think of God.”
Mr. Minninger said that during the performance, some of the story-based dances touched on topics of modern-day China, including the suppression of people in faith under communist rule. He added that he prayed for the Chinese, especially the brothers and sisters persecuted for their faith. To see this theme brought up in Shen Yun moved the Minningers. They are Catholic and pray for those of other faiths persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party as well.
“There’s a tremendous similarity in our seeking truth. And that’s what it’s all about. seeking truth, and love,” he said.
“It’s a beautiful recollection for all of us to realize that we are all created by a Supreme Being and Creator that gave us life. And they exhibited that beauty in a remarkable way. So I’m just very grateful,” he said.
Reporting by Weiyong Zhu.
The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of Shen Yun Performing Arts. We have covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.
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