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Freedom’s most ardent front is being fought in the cultural realm. Therefore, when a major performing arts production company decides to do a world tour that promotes traditional values, a transcendental ethos, and directly challenges the world’s most powerful menace to liberty, it warrants support. This is why I went to see Shen Yun 2022: China Before Communism.
Although prompted to attend for moral principles and political conviction, the experience went further. Cultural Marxism and postmodernism’s dictatorship of relativism, as Pope Benedict XVI called it, has animated symptoms like Cancel Culture, woke propaganda, fundamentalist secularism, and identarian paganism. Private institutions, once esteemed components of civil society, have been hijacked and are now revered leaders in this materialist crusade against piety, republican governance, family, and natural law manifestations like freedom.
Established in New York in 2006, consisting mainly of Chinese exiles, the Shen Yun Performing Arts Company (Shen Yun) has charted a program to revive 5,000 years of authentic culture and tradition that communism, through genocide and state terror, has sought to erase since 1949. From the onset, they knew confronting the falsity concocted by communist China, given its enormous influence in the globe’s affairs, would be an uphill battle. Steadily, however, Shen Yun has managed to thrive and delight international audiences with consistent programming of classical arts performances, each year with new choreography.
China, the land that provided the earliest example of the right of revolution (or rebellion) doctrine (Zhou Dynasty, 1046 BC), developed another novelty. It is a classical Chinese dance. The core of the Shen Yun presentation is this unique form of artistic expression. Classical Chinese dance is a hybrid system of ballet and gymnastics that comprehensively expresses a story, folk tradition, and depicts cultural phenomena. It incorporates varied colors and sophisticated dance techniques that have been passed down through the centuries from different regions, as well as different ethnic groups. It articulates China’s history prior to the Marxist-Leninist takeover.
The China Before Communism engagement contains a total of seventeen episodes, each with a particular theme. The world-class Shen Yun Orchestra, containing a mixture of Western instruments from the strings, brass, and woodwinds groups, plays alongside traditional Chinese music pieces like the two-stringed erhu and the plucked pipa. This combination masterfully accentuates the dancing exhibition. With a 3D digital projection using prime technology as a backdrop, Shen Yun offers a depth with each scene that fosters an interaction between reality and art that is impressive. This innovative and original feature even has its own patent.
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No performance about China could omit the atrocities of its communist experience. Shen Yun 2022: China Before Communism also contained this sad chapter. A most dramatic segment titled “Insanity During the End of Days”, touched upon the Marxist-Maoist regime’s practice of organ extraction from groups deemed by the brutal dictatorship to be non-oppositionists. Repudiating socialism’s atheistic fundamentalism and singular focus materialist understandings of life, Shen Yun elaborated constantly by different venues on spirituality, eternal life, and the power of faith. Undoubtedly, the emptiness of communism, woke culture, and secular banality were well exhibited with the contrast.
Today, with corporate media, Big Tech, Hollywood and sports elites, and leftist politicians seeking to control the cultural means of production, Shen Yun’s formidable performance stands out like a beacon of hope. The oligarchic mafia which counts on global partners like communist China to spread its venom has been heroically challenged in the cultural sphere. Shen Yun is to be commended. No one should miss this performance!
Julio M Shiling, political scientist, writer, director of Patria de Martí and The Cuban American Voice, lecturer and media commentator. A native of Cuba, he currently lives in the United States. Twitter: @JulioMShiling // Julio es politólogo, escritor, director de Patria de Martí y The Cuban American Voice. Conferenciante y comentarista en los medios. Natural de Cuba, vive actualmente en EE UU.