Shen Yun Dances Reveal China’s True History, Palm Desert Audience Members Say
PALM DESERT, Calif.—Ken Dahlquist is a freelance cameraman and five-time Emmy Award winner. He spent 50 years working in Hollywood but is now retired.
Mr. Dahlquist said coming to see Shen Yun Performing Arts was a “good night,” and because of the pandemic, it was his first date in two years.
Based in New York, Shen Yun is a traditional classical Chinese dance and music company that travels the world on a mission to revive Chinese culture as it was in pre-Communist times.
Shen Yun was performing at the Palm Desert McCallum Theater and Dahlquist was having a great time.
“I just like the choreography. [I’ve] worked on many dance shows and I appreciate the talent,” he said, adding that the energy and dedication of the performers was astounding.
“It’s just amazing that they’re…in sync, all in unison, always. No one misses a beat. Pretty impressive,” he said.
Shen Yun’s backdrops and dynamic use of digital technology also impressed Dahlquist. The use of 3D technology creates an almost magical performance that provides the audience with an unforgettable experience.
Traditional Chinese culture focuses on values such as morality, loyalty, truthfulness and kindness.
In addition to drawing on legends and history from China’s past, the dances also include stories of the current persecution of the spiritual practice known as Falun Dafa by the Chinese regime.
Because Shen Yun reveals the true nature and history of China’s past traditions, it was banned from performing in its home country.
“I think it’s important…that we understand that a lot of things couldn’t be seen in China today. And [it’s] very, very disturbing and sad that this is happening [while] in America, we can watch that and enjoy it,” Dahlquist said.
Catherine Bray, owner of a tutoring agency and former elementary school teacher, and Roberta Edward, a retired purchasing agent, also enjoyed Shen Yun.
Shen Yun enlightens us, Ms. Bray said. “I absolutely loved it,” she said.
“I like the quality of the dancing. I love colors. It’s bright, it’s joyful,” Ms. Bray said. “I came back because I loved it so much. I wanted to see him again and I brought my friend Roberta.
I like dancing, music. I like history. There’s a lot of things that we Americans don’t know about happening in China, I think, and we learn more about it through music and dance.
“I like dancing, music. I like history. There are a lot of things that we Americans don’t know about happening in China, I think, and we learn more about it through music and dance,” she said.
“[The music] is emotional. It’s nice. Yet underlying it is a bit sad. But then it’s happy. You know, we’re all human, so we’re happy, but we have emotions,” Ms. Bray explained.
She applauded Shen Yun in its mission to bring back traditional Chinese culture.
The two friends agreed that Shen Yun’s efforts to educate its audience about Chinese history and culture were phenomenal.
For Ms. Edward, it was the stories told by the Shen Yun dancers she loved.
Only by watching Shen Yun could people learn the true history of China, she said.
“You wouldn’t know exactly what’s going on. And what is the history of China? China’s present and how much is removed,” Ms Edward said.
The US education system does not teach Chinese history as portrayed by Shen Yun, Ms. Bray said.
“And so if more people knew what was going on, I think that would open up [their] the eyes. So I love it. It’s a great experience,” she said.
“I’ve told a lot of people it’s a wonderful [performance] and there’s a lot of history involved in that. And the theater is full tonight. Watch the theater, you can tell people are interested. They want to know,” Ms. Bray said.
Reporting by NTD Television and Diane Cordemans.
The old times is a proud sponsor of Shen Yun Performing Arts. We have covered audience reactions since the establishment of Shen Yun in 2006.