OKLAHOMA CITY—Television producer Christian Tabak’s first-time experience with Shen Yun Performing Arts was nothing he had ever encountered before. He was struck by the diversity of myths and legends presented, telling stories of monks, Taoist sculptors, and a supernatural monkey king.
“You know, you had a bit of everything. Either laughing or feeling kind of sad, or you know, just happy. It had a bit of everything,” he said.
Tabak, who is also a journalist, attended Shen Yun at the City Civic Center Music Hall in Oklahoma City on Feb. 26. The New York-based company is currently touring the world with the mission to revive China’s 5,000 years of semi-divine culture that was nearly wiped out after seven decades of communist rule.
The television producer for the University of Central Oklahoma said Shen Yun had been an “eye-opening experience” for him, which had inspired him to become open-minded and be receptive to trying new things.
“This is the first time I’ve ever attended a show like this, and it was an experience that I’ve not had before,” he said. “I’ve attended ballets and I thought oh, this might be similar to a ballet, but the kind of performances that happened tonight was just beyond my expectations.”
A Shen Yun performance typically consists of about 20 vignettes of classical Chinese dance, showcasing the many stories, regional groups, and dynasties from Chinese history.
Many of its stories depict historical events, myths and legends passed down generation after generation, and modern day pieces portraying today’s real-life human rights abuses in China. Hence, the production is often described as a window into a cultural treasure that is nearly lost.
For Tabak, the stories and culture portrayed in the tales have inspired him to explore Eastern cultural ideas and perspectives.
“My inspiration would be definitely to look more into Chinese culture. Definitely, look more into Eastern culture and get more perspectives on this because these are cultural ideas that I’m not at all familiar with,” he said.
With reporting by Sherry Dong.
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.