Shen Yun Expresses ‘The Heart of the People’
PHILADELPHIA—On Feb. 14, 2020, attorney and CEO Thomas Earle took his Valentine, Kim Desrosiers, to see Shen Yun Performing Arts in Philadelphia to mark the most romantic day of the year. Desrosiers was all smiles as she described the gift she received.
“My boyfriend got me tickets for Valentine’s Day,” said Desrosiers, who enjoyed the dancing the most out of the performance’s many theatrical components: the live orchestra, bel canto vocal soloists, digitally animated backdrops, couture costumes, and more. She and Earle took in New York-based Shen Yun at Philadelphia’s Merriam Theater.
“I loved the water dance with the sleeves that were very expressive and made me feel like I was amongst, I don’t know, water fairies,” Desrosiers said.
Shen Yun’s beauty astounds many, but it’s the depth of meaning the performance holds, and the unique, divinely-inspired stories that touch people deeply and leave them with an unforgettable experience, according to audience members.
In Desrosiers’s case, it wasn’t only her own experience with Shen Yun that moved her. She felt a positive impact on the entire hall of theatergoers.
“I was most moved by the depth of the emotion of the audience in response to what they were seeing,” she said.
“I myself am Tibetan Buddhist, and I felt that [Shen Yun] really connected the audience with the morals and the compassion that Buddhists feel and that I’ve personally experienced in China amongst the people, not so much through the government, but at the heart of the people. That’s my experience and I felt that the dance elicited that,” she added.
“[A dance story] also inspired me—about the abuses that happened in China, under the communist regime, [it] was very brave of them, and that was surprising—I loved it,” she said.
In the roughly 20 short vignettes per performance, Shen Yun depicts scenes from heavenly realms, ancient China, and also from modern-day China—where today spiritual believers such as Tibetan Buddhists and Falun Dafa practitioners are severely persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party.
Falun Dafa is an ancient meditation practice that teaches truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance, along with energy-strengthening exercises. It, along with practitioners of and philosophies from Buddhism and Daoism, are peppered throughout the performance as part of Shen Yun’s effort to revive China’s true and deeply-spiritual traditional culture.
“The spirituality that was brought forth, again, it really connected with basic wisdom and compassion,” Desrosiers said, “which is very old in China and within many teachings and Taoism and Buddhism and Confucianism and they communicated that throughout all the stories. They were very diverse and I appreciated that.”
Desrosiers said she will absolutely recommend Shen Yun to her friends and family.
Her companion Earle, a disability rights attorney and CEO of Liberty Resources, said he had read about Shen Yun and seen it in the newspaper, “and it looked very visually entertaining and for me. I’m visually impaired, but I can see straight ahead, and the colors and the movements are amazing.”
Overall, he called his experience at Shen Yun very positive. “It was delightful.”
“I really liked the lantern dance, the water dance, and the Mongolian cowboy one,” he added.
Earle was impressed by the spiritual aspect of Shen Yun’s performance and the effect it had on him personally.
“Very beautiful. And it’s very impressive, the movements. Sometimes people look like they’re floating, the dancers look like they’re floating across the stage. So, very impressive,” he said.
With reporting by NTD Television and Brett Featherstone.
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