SEATTLE—Las Vegas business owner Paul DuBose took his wife Toni to see Shen Yun Performing Arts in Seattle, Washington, for her birthday. After seeing the performance, they felt the 1,000 mile drive from Las Vegas was definitely worth the trip.
“It was wonderful, I loved it,” said Toni.
Paul agreed, “I love the show, it was colorful, it was lively, it was entertaining and it was exquisitely done because they kept you thinking on what was coming next.”
He particularly enjoyed the erhu (a Chinese two-stringed instrument) soloist, and the tenor but ultimately “everything was wonderful,” Paul said.
The couple saw the performance with a friend at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall in Seattle on April 2.
The classical Chinese dance company is currently touring the world, taking its performance aimed to reviving China’s ancient culture to audiences across four continents and more than 100 cities.
What struck the couple was the spiritual thread flowing through stories and songs shown on stage. China’s traditional culture is rooted in belief in the divine, as reflected in the teachings of Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism, which permeated all aspects of personal and political life for thousands of years.
Many of the stories depicted by New York-based Shen Yun contain values and ideas flowing from such beliefs.
“It teaches everybody, no matter what religion it is…[it] shares the common belief that there’s always a higher power and whenever we leave this Earth we are going to have to be judged upon what our actions and words here are on Earth,” Paul said.
The message of good prevailing over evil, Paul said, was especially powerful.
“It was really inspirational,” he said, adding that it affirmed his belief that “in the long run, we are all children of the Creator and if we live righteously and we do what we are supposed to, hopefully, we can go back and be with him whenever we leave this planet of existence.”
The lyrics of the song sung by the tenor also resonated with the couple. The songs, which reflect spiritual themes underlying Chinese culture, reference belief in the Creator and human beings having a divine core.
“We’ve all got a spark of divine in us,” said Toni. “It’s just, we got a spark of divine and we got a little devil in this, and the more we feed the divine, the bigger [it grows].”
Paul added: “The American-Indian [have a saying] that there are two wolves in everybody, the good wolf and the evil wolf. Whichever one prevails is the one that you feed.”
The idea that everyone can be in touch with the divine was a liberating message, said Paul, empowering people to choose right over wrong and live harmoniously with each other.
“It enlightens people to know that anybody can be in touch with the divine … and the Creator and they can create a more harmonious balance in the universe and in the world,” he said.
“People would just embrace this and walk away from all the hate and the discontent and the persecution.”
“[There are] too many people [who] are thinking that they are right and everybody else is wrong, [being] very self-centered.”
He added that people needed to learn to be more open minded and try to understand other people, to avoid conflict and destruction in the world.
Paul also applauded Shen Yun’s efforts to expose the suppression of faith currently occurring under the communist regime in China. Some stories depicted show the persecution of practitioners of spiritual practice Falun Gong in China. The practice was banned by the regime since 1999, which has resulted in adherents being imprisoned, tortured, or even killed for their faith.
The performance is a powerful way to combat this oppression because “if the American people understood some of the persecution [that] now goes on in Communist China or in the other country for that matter, then people are going to start and say: hey, this is not right.”
He recommended Shen Yun to everyone, as watching the performance “can make for better understanding of why people do a certain thing … because of what they believe.”
With reporting by Mai Lei.
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time and has covered audience reactions since the company’s inception in 2006.