(Minghui.org) From July 15–17, 2022, the Shen Yun New York Company presented four performances at the Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington, D.C., concluding the performing arts company’s 2021-2022, first post-pandemic season.
The Shen Yun New York Company at the Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington, D.C., on July 15. This was the company’s second time performing in the U.S. capital this year, after presenting eight performances at the Kennedy Center back in February.
“The World Needs to See This”
Rep. Brian Babin, a congressman serving the 36th District of Texas, and his wife Roxanne saw Shen Yun in Washington, D.C., on July 15.
“Wonderful, it is absolutely wonderful... The talent of the dancers, the background, the graphics... Fantastic,” said Dr. Babin (D.D.S.).
“It’s wonderful... The tales, the history—the 5,000 years of history in China. And then... we started seeing some of the terrible things that are happening in China under the Communist Party. I think the American people need to see this. The world needs to see this,” Dr. Babin said.
He added that Shen Yun’s mission to revive China’s culture is “very worthwhile.”
“This type of spirituality going on in China itself, we would love to see that happening. Unfortunately, the Communist Party doesn’t allow it, and there’s persecution of it. It’s just terrible,” Dr. Babin said. He said all aspects of Shen Yun were memorable for him.
Mrs. Babin said she enjoyed the “beauty and the culture” in Shen Yun, saying that the “grace and the beauty of the Chinese history” stood out for her.
“Moving and Inspirational”
Timothy Sharpe, Chief of Operations & Logistics at the Joint Staff, and his wife Dr. Brigitte Sharpe, an emergency medicine doctor, saw Shen Yun in Washington, D.C., on July 15.
“We really enjoy the aspect of learning about the traditional Chinese culture,” Mr. Sharpe said.
“The spirit and the culture of the Chinese people, it’s very moving and inspirational. You don’t usually see that in your day-to-day life,” he said.
Mr. Sharpe said, given the restriction imposed by the communist regime, it’s important to “get the story out.”
“It Made Me Feel Hopeful”
Domenic Savini, assistant director of the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board, and his wife Victoria saw Shen Yun in Washington, D.C., on July 17.
Mr. Savini said he had waited a long time to see Shen Yun, and was “so happy” to finally get a chance to see the company’s last 2022 performance at the Kennedy Center Opera House.
Mr. Savini, who is also a certified accountant and college professor, said that Shen Yun imparts a message of hope.
“We have to realize that what’s happening today is against all humanity, and we have to help stand against communism and Marxism in the world. We have to really think about humanity the way God wants us to think about it. We’re all his children, and we all have to love one another, and we have to strive to overcome our differences so we can make this a very beautiful world. And Shen Yun showed us that, with not just the dancing and the art, but the color, everything,” he said.
“And even each of the dancers’ faces, you could tell, they wanted to give us that message of hope that we should never stop remembering that God is our creator and that we were destined to be good and we have to fight evil,” he said.
As a Christian, Mr. Savini said he was very impressed with Falun Dafa adherents “and their inspirational message that brings us back to the Creator.”
“It made me feel hopeful that the Falun Gong, who have suffered so much, are strong to now bring this message to the rest of the world.
“And it is a beautiful message. It is a message that tells us: Yes, even though I have suffered, there is a greater good, and we have to work for that greater good. But how do we work for it? We have to stand up and fight the evil. We cannot sit back and let evil take over,” he said.
Seeing Shen Yun performers onstage, Mr. Savini said he thought to himself, “Thank God for young people who believe in the concepts of love and God and the divine and creation.
“Too many young people today don’t care about the spiritual life and about the spiritual walk. But while I saw those dancers, and I heard the singing, it made me encouraged,” he said.
“I said, ‘There’s some young people who really understand, who want to bring this message,’ and it made me feel young again. It made me feel strong to watch them dance and to just see how happy they were. I was excited,” Mr. Savini said.
“Supremely Talented and Disciplined and Capable”
Frank Gaffney, executive chairman of the Center For Security Policy, and his wife Marisol Fernandini-Gaffney, who does design work, saw Shen Yun in Washington, D.C., on July 17.
Mr. Gaffney said it was hard for him to find a “superlative that is sufficient” to describe Shen Yun.
“It’s impressive... They are supremely talented and disciplined and capable,” he said.
Mr. Gaffney said Shen Yun opens a window to China’s traditional culture, reminding people that “China is not the Communist Party.
“There’s a history, there’s a tradition, there’s a culture, there’s a civilization that preceded it, and I hope will survive it,” he said.
Ms. Fernandini-Gaffney said she was greatly impressed by all the different features of Shen Yun.
“I’m overwhelmed by the synchronicity, by what I hear, the beautiful music, the messages conveyed, the performance, and the colors. They are all perfectly arranged, and it overwhelms you,” she said.
“Shen Yun Truly Presents Traditional Chinese Culture”
Dr. Qian Huang, a partner at law firm Venable LLP, saw Shen Yun in Washington, D.C., on July 15.
“Shen Yun’s performance is at a very high level. Those young performers left a deep impression on me. They’re well-trained and have very high professional skills. Very happy Shen Yun provided such a high-quality, high-level performance for American audiences,” Ms. Huang said.
“Many things that are happening in China now are really not what a China with thousands years of history and a magnificent culture should look like. What Shen Yun presents is the real China. I think in the Western world, people don’t really know about traditional Chinese culture. If you’re able to learn about traditional Chinese culture, it really has many beautiful things. Shen Yun truly presents traditional Chinese culture. I’m very happy that Shen Yun is doing this.
“Shen Yun’s programs can really attract Western audiences. It really brought a lot of beauty to this country. Tomorrow we’ll see some friends in Chinese-American mixed-race families, and we are definitely going to talk about this show,” she said.
“This Show Was Extraordinary!”
Tom Tuchschmidt II, Vice President of Casino Relationship Marketing at Live! Casino & Hotel, saw Shen Yun in Washington, D.C., on July 17.
“This was not only a dance performance. This show was extraordinary!” Mr. Tuchschmidt said.
He said that he felt the beauty and value of traditional Chinese culture through the performance, and also felt regretful for the culture’s being destroyed by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party).
Mr. Tuchschmidt saw in the performance, “kindness, freedom of thought, joy, getting along in harmony with others, compassion, and empathy... These concepts are so wonderful. They’re all such important concepts and are consistent with all faith concepts,” he said.
He was also impressed by the long history of the Chinese instruments as well as classical Chinese dance. “Thinking about the fact that these instruments from China have such a long culture and history, and the fact that those dance movements on stage can all be traced back to ancient China, it’s so amazing. Really astonishing!” Mr. Tuchschmidt said.
He said that the performance also informed people about the CCP’s suppression of freedom of faith and freedom of thought. He said, “This is a very significant message. I hope more people can hear this message and understand this message.”
Mr. Tuchschmidt said that he was already planning on bringing his daughter, who is taking dance classes right now, to the next performance.
“Graceful and Charming”
Kimberly Swartz, a ballet instructor, and David Smith saw Shen Yun in Washington, D.C., on July 16.
“The show was brilliant, absolutely full of appeal!... The artists were very skilled. Graceful and charming. Lovely,” Ms. Swartz said.
“My favorite was the plum blossom dance. It was so beautiful! The female artists were soft and graceful. The male artists were full of masculinity. From the choreography, I could really feel that classical Chinese dance was the foundation of all dances,” she said.
“Very Skilled and Professional”
Musician Mark Clifton saw Shen Yun in Washington, D.C., on July 16.
“This was not the Western orchestra music that we usually hear. What touched me the most was how skilled the orchestra was: the music scores were very complicated and difficult, but the orchestra was very skilled and professional... Very outstanding,” Mr. Clifton said.
“[The music] set up the sentiment for the programs, and fitted each scene very well. It worked with the stage performance very well,” he said.
Theatergoers See Shen Yun with Family and Friends
Cheryl Mankowski, program manager at Lockheed Martin, an aerospace company, brought her mother to see Shen Yun on her 82nd birthday on July 16. Ms. Mankowski’s mother said she liked the birthday gift very much, and thought the performance was “wonderful.”
Moyce Reginato, the office manager of a real estate development company, saw Shen Yun with six other relatives and friends in Washington, D.C., on July 17.
Ms. Reginato said that it was her first time to see Shen Yun, and that she was drawn to it because she has been interested in the Falun Gong issue and has been following the ongoing persecution.
“I think this is an important issue, especially since the group of people that you represent are such good and outstanding people. Their being persecuted is very heartbreaking for me.”
“The show was very moving. It was worth the trip,” Ms. Reginato said.
Attorney Brian Mitchell saw Shen Yun with his wife in Washington, D.C., on July 16.
After two years of lockdowns due to the pandemic, Mr. Mitchell said that he cherished this opportunity to return to the theater to see a performance.
The couple said they had been seeing Shen Yun’s commercials on television for a while and had been wanting to see the performance. They said they were happy to finally be able to see it.
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