Missionary Says Shen Yun ‘Has So Much to Teach Us’ About Universal Values

May 06, 2023
Missionary Says Shen Yun ‘Has So Much to Teach Us’ About Universal Values
David Saddle, a retired Christian missionary, attended Shen Yun Performing Arts at Sydney Lyric Theatre on May 6, 2023. (NTD)

SYDNEY, Australia—David Saddle, a retired missionary, said Shen Yun Performing Arts, through its mission to revive traditional Chinese culture before communism, “has so much to teach us” about universal values when he attended the matinee at Sydney Lyric Theatre on May 6.

“The dances were just absolutely amazing, the costumes were amazing. The choreography really was absolutely superb,” said Elder Saddle, who was particularly impressed by the company’s mission to revive traditional Chinese culture.

“We need to hold on to those values,” said Elder Saddle. “And I think it’s important that the Chinese culture, like many other cultures today, can teach us so much from the past.”

Shen Yun was founded in New York in 2006 by artists from all over the world. The company’s and artists’ mission is to revive China’s traditional culture, which was almost lost under communism.

Shen Yun declares that it presents “China before communism.”

Elder Saddle was happy “knowing that the culture is not only being preserved [by Shen Yun] but also perpetuated for future generations.”

Considered to span at least 5,000 years, China’s cultural heritage and spiritual civilisation include the belief that its culture is divinely inspired and that all of humanity originated from the Creator.
“The divine is important,” said Elder Saddle, who felt Shen Yun portrayed this belief well. He added that “our Creator is important.”
Shen Yun presents classical Chinese and ethnic folk dances, as well as mini-dramas and soloists performing traditional bel canto singing. Elder Saddle described it as an “incredible, wonderful expression of culture and of art.”
“Especially at the end of the program,” he added, referring to a piece depicting modern-day China amidst the clamour of digital devices. Elder Saddle noted that the piece shows how “it’s our culture and language that really binds our generations together.”
Shen Yun, which depicts scenes from bygone dynasties right up to 21st-century China, left Elder Saddle with a “great appreciation” for the lifestyle and culture of “our ancestors.”

“So many people think that the past is gone and forgotten, but we can learn so much from the past to help us in our present day and our future,” he said.

Shen Yun’s 2023 performance opens with a piece titled “From Heaven to Save All,” which depicts divine beings leaving their lofty realms, led by “the Creator,” to descend to the human world and “perform the grand saga of history and fulfill their sacred vows.”

This piece struck Elder Saddle, who was inspired to offer reflections on what he described as the importance of holding onto and learning from the spiritual civilisation of the past.
“We have much to gain from the past,” he said. “And that together, if we go in the future, that we can learn from each other, be stronger from each other, and that we have something to hold on to,” he added.
Elder Saddle added that “the basis of our life now is generated from the past,” which he said could be helpful in the future if people remember it.
Reporting by NTD and Caden Pearson.
The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of Shen Yun Performing Arts. We have covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.
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