The Post-Gazette's Jan. 31 preview of Shen Yun ("International Movement: Shen Yun Mixes Politics with Chinese Classical Dance in its Performances") misses the main theme of the show.
I watched the Shen Yun performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. As a Chinese immigrant born during the Cultural Revolution, I deeply regret how the rich, noble and divinely inspired traditional Chinese culture was destroyed by Communist rule. Today, though one can still find some traces of traditional Chinese culture in mainland China, it is no longer mainstream and the underlying spiritual essence is mostly lost.
Now Shen Yun is reviving traditional Chinese culture, arts and values, through its world-class performances. Though made in America, it is more authentic than anything that I have seen in China.
As far as the dance depicting the Falun Gong story in the show, I saw hope and compassion in it, not politics. The human spirit under adversity is always a favorite topic in art, drama and movies. In "The Sound of Music," part of the story line is about the Von Trapp family's escape to freedom from the Nazis' takeover of Austria. Would anyone today consider this great musical political? I doubt it.