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Fighting Back With Dance: Shen Yun Works to Preserve Ancient Chinese Culture

NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / March 9, 2022 / Shen Yun is a classical dance show that has captivated audiences all over the world with their unique performances, colorful costumes, traditional music, and celebration for Chinese ancient culture. In 2006, elite artists facing persecution for their faith in China established Shen Yun in the rolling hills of Orange County, New York. Shen Yun has since used performing arts to revive the essence of Chinese culture – traditionally considered a divinely-inspired civilization.

However, Shen Yun‘s mission to revive 5,000 years of a culture has been challenged by powerful entities from its country of origin. It might seem odd and surprising that a dance and music company that uses theatrical performance to exalt Chinese culture would be targeted, but for decades the parties of power in China have been antagonistic to this organization for displaying the true history behind ancient China. To fully comprehend the relationship between China and Shen Yun, we need to first understand recent Chinese history.

In 1949, China was overthrown by the communist party. In attempts to establish their legitimacy and authority, the party worked to reframe ancient Chinese views and practices. One example is Confucianism, an ancient Chinese belief system that focuses on the importance of personal ethics and morality.

During the party’s initial rise to power, students and citizens were encouraged to publish papers denouncing the teachings of Confucius in attempts to destroy his image and philosophy. During this time, Confucian scholars were faced with the threat of internment at a labor camp or worse. However, in recent years, in an attempt to utilize icons of Chinese culture to bolster the legitimacy of the government, the current government has created Confucius Institutes, claiming that they are places for learning and cultural exchange. However, many fear that these institutes prevent the teaching of any authentic Chinese culture and reframe Chinese history, putting the government at its center.

“Since the communist party took power in 1949, over 50 million people have died under their regime — that’s a death count of more than six Holocausts – yet the party remains in power, albeit significantly rebranded and deeply interconnected financially with the West,” says Levi Browde, board member for Shen Yun Promotions International.

These attacks on ancient Chinese culture don’t stop with Confucius, but extend to any entity that contradicts their narrative on Chinese culture, including Shen Yun. Through Shen Yun‘s powerful performances and intricate storytelling, the dance company is able to share China’s authentic culture to cities across the world to help them better understand the beautiful roots and history of China, before it was deviated by the communist regime. Shen Yun showcases the “divine being”, indicating the myriad deities, Buddhas, and Taoist immortals in Chinese spiritual traditions. Its purpose is to show the world what China once was, and could be again.

Since Shen Yun was formed, it has been enjoyed by more than seven million people around the world. Given its immense popularity and resonance, powerful and antagonistic entities have continued to sabotage the organization through propaganda, pressuring theaters to cancel contracts with Shen Yun, and even tampering with tour buses, jeopardizing the safety of Shen Yun artists. Despite these attacks, Shen Yun has continued to thrive, selling out shows night after night in big and small cities across the globe.

To learn more about Shen Yun, its history and one-of-a-kind experiences, visit their site here.

Denise C. Riley
[email protected]

SOURCE: Shen Yun

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