My True Experience of Falun Gong's Shen Yun Show
Posted in the Falun Gong Forum
Since: Aug 11
#1 Dec 4, 2012
It was very pretty, but nothing extraordinary or imaginative. The costumes were pretty, the dancers danced very well and with precision, but it was repetitive and kind of boring after a few dances. I do like that it's exposing a wide audience to traditional Chinese costumes and dance moves but frankly it felt Disneyfied. Even the music was performed by a western orchestra -- more focus on traditional folk instruments would have been good. And what's with the "arias" sung in western opera-style? What's Chinese about that? The lyrics were really hokey too. And the tenor was just awful at the performance I went to. Maybe he was having a bad night.
But my biggest problem with the show is the lack of truth in advertising. It was billed as an exploration into 5000 years of chinese history & culture -- really?? I thought at the very least I'd come away with some learning about history or understanding of Chinese mythology, but no, the emcees were corny and offered very little context for the "stories" told through the dances. They weren't really even stories, just random vignettes -- e.g.-- here are some happy monks, here are some farmers, here are snowflakes welcoming spring, etc etc. Oh, and there were several pieces depicting communist oppression of Falun Dafa. OK, I don't pretend to know the facts about Falun Dafa, but for 5000 years of chinese history to be distilled into two hours of dancing, and for a good 20 minutes of that to be devoted to something that's only been around for 20 years (so, that's .5% of 5000 -- yes, let's just gloss over the other 4,980 years) felt very much like propaganda. Also, those pieces had definite political overtones, whereas the other pieces were all just pretty dancing...and twirling! And tumbling!
It was also billed as having sold out Lincoln Center in NYC, and various other venues all over the world...hmm.....the performance I attended at the Civic Opera House was maybe 70% full. I might believe that it sold out Lincoln Center ONCE, but I don't see how it could possibly sustain that level of interest after people know about it. If I ever see it billed as having sold out Chicago then I know there's definite falsifying of information. Maybe it's like the self-help gurus who buy up tons of their own books to pump up their sales numbers -- I wouldn't put it past them....the whole thing just felt very odd.
Bottom line, yeah sure it was pretty, but why do I feel bilked? This is not an enterprise that feels "pure" at all...something is off.
#2 Dec 6, 2012
Actually for me, a learner of the Law would say that; why do you need to judge whether this or that is meaningful or not?
Are you a practitioner? Can you see that the Law is everywhere? Why do you only think the Law is expressed in the so-called Falun Gong show? In fact, not only me, but accomplished yogis and monks or nuns would know that the Law is omnipresent, it is every step you take, everything that sustains your life. It is nature, it is the rise and doom of mankind, the cycles of civilisations. That is the real Falun Gong show of the world. And I find it quite interesting.
Havelock North, New Zealand
#3 Jan 27, 2013
I've seen this show twice. The second time I really 'got' it - I felt the profundity of the lyrics, the skilled combination of western and Chinese orchestration, the magnificent backdrops and the otherworldly movement and inspirational quality of the dances.
The references to Falun Gong take up only 2 segments and I did not find that 'political' or 'anti-China' in the slightest. A reread of the song lyrics from the program reveals a highly spiritual world view, poetic and uplifting.
All in all a family show which lifts the audience into the realms of a timeless, ancient culture for over 2 hours.
I recommend this highly!
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