SEATTLE—Regina Glenn returned to see Shen Yun Performing Arts for the fourth time at the Marion Oliver McCaw Hall during the evening performance on April 6. And like every other time, she said the traditional dance and music company continues to inspire and send an important message.
“Tonight I did see some little beautiful coordination again, with the costumes. I love it,” Glenn said. “And I love the theme of fun but [the] message also.”
New York-based Shen Yun tours the globe annually with a mission to bring back traditional Chinese culture and values to the modern world through performing arts. Through 20 vignettes of classical Chinese dances, folk and ethnic dances, story-based dances as well as solo musicians, Shen Yun takes audience members on a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese history and civilization, while encouraging them to reflect on themselves and the world around them, just like Glenn.
“It makes me continue to want to see what is going on within the world,” said Glenn, who is the CEO of Pacific Communications Consultant Inc. in Washington state.
“The reason I really come also is to help with the resources to continue this activity. I think the message is done well.”
“I’ve watched the YouTube videos on how hard to be conditioned as they are, and what a privilege it is they feel, I love to see that. So supporting it is the way I bring it to my home,” she added.
Moreover, the messages and themes depicted in the various pieces have been a great source of inspiration for the business owner.
“[Shen Yun’s message is] to be kind, to be graceful as ladies, [and] to be fearless as warriors,” Glenn said, adding that the performance also tries to raise awareness about real-life human rights abuses and oppression happening in communist China.
“That message is coming across in one of the stories that they showed,” Glenn said. “I am surprised that it is happening.”
Like Glenn, many audience members are surprised to learn that a great number of Chinese people are still being persecuted for their faith, despite the communist regime’s appearance of modernization and opening up to the West.
What they don’t know is that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) sees traditional Chinese culture, which is deeply rooted in Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism, as its greatest rival.
The regime has launched many campaigns to dismantle traditional culture and people’s belief in the divine, and replace it with Mao Zedong’s way of thinking and style of discourse—a move that has been devastating to the Chinese people’s identity.
Glenn said she applauds Shen Yun’s efforts to show the world that spirituality and respect for the heavens are themes anchored in Chinese culture. She finds them relatable to her life as a Catholic.
“It was really good to see a very respectful way to point out the benevolence of the divine, and how it is played out in both the beauty and the precision of all the performance,” Gleen said.
Along with learning about Shen Yun’s messages and themes, Glenn greatly appreciated the aesthetics and artistry of the performers—both on stage and in the orchestra pit.
“There’s a beautiful synchronism between the orchestra and the dancers,” she said. “You can see that they had practiced, every note, every turn, is done on cue. That’s not easy to do.”
She also liked learning about the different ethnic groups and seeing the history of China.
“I like the fact that we’re getting history, authentic history, and it gives an interesting role that women had played throughout all cultures and civilizations,” Glenn said. “I also like seeing the beautiful landscape of the countryside, and a respect for the different ethnicity—the Mongolian, and all the others, the women of Yi, that was very nice.”
For Glenn, Shen Yun has brought together a combination of “the best of beauty, charm, physical agility, and stamina.”
“That brings the spiritual, and a very entertaining message, to you,” she said.
With reporting by NTD Television.