Learn more: https://www.ntd.com/theyre-dancing-for-a-purpose-says-statesman-paul-taylor_273307.html
Paul Taylor, a retired businessman who was a candidate for the U.S. Senate in the 2018 California primary elections, attended Shen Yun Performing Arts for the second time on Jan. 4. He had seen the classical Chinese dance and music production before in Long Beach, California. This time, he brought his wife to a San Francisco performance so she could enjoy it, too.
“Oh it’s beautiful. It’s very beautiful, it’s fabulous,” said Taylor. “And it’s amazing, I don’t know they move their legs and dance and jump, and do all that stuff. I’m too stiff and old to do that. But it’s very good. And the screen is fabulous. The technology, the music’s perfect. I mean perfect music, the orchestra, because I played the trumpet growing up so I know what good trumpets sound like. You got a good trumpet player there.”
“One of the things I’m always intrigued on is proficiency, expertise, and excellence. And watching the dancers, I only could imagine how much practice time and how much dedication was required for them to achieve what they did tonight,” said Barry Sheckley, a professor emeritus at the University of Connecticut.
Through its colorful displays of dance and an orchestra that uses both Chinese and Western instruments, Shen Yun aims to depict China’s traditional culture and values.
“Part of the culture issue is the rituals that the Chinese have that basically carry the message of what it means to be Chinese, from century to century to century. And it was fascinating here to see how the performers linked in to different dynasties,” said Sheckley.”The unity and the commonality, and the sense of almost purpose and connection among all the dancers, kind of reflected what I understand to be like the connection among all members of China and the Chinese culture. It permeates at a very fundamental level.”
“Oh everything, I can tell that they’re dancing for a purpose. They’re not just dancing, they’re dancing for a message,” Taylor said.
He was touched by a dance piece depicting a meditation group being persecuted for their belief, something still taking place in China today.
“I’m aware of the Falun Gong people and the harvesting. And I am opposed to that. And I am vocal about that. And so when I come here, my heart goes out to those people,” said Taylor. “I know that they all believe in a higher God and a creator and a heaven, and that’s the spiritual thing. And that makes them behave accordingly. The ones that don’t have spirituality in their lives live empty lives that are about things that aren’t, they’re temporal like money and fame and things like that. And there’s more to life, it’s about people, it’s about love, peace, joy, happiness, and all that good stuff. Through music, and through the content of the show that they can learn a few things about that and have compassion, and then start standing up to stop this in China.”
“They really communicated their sense of culture, purpose, and commitment to the principles that they were dancing and performing on,” said Sheckley.”Anybody that can perform and do anything as excellent as these people do, you have to appreciate it and almost engage and embrace them and thank them for working so hard to achieve the unity that they had on the stage and the perfection of their performance.”
NTD News, San Francisco