ACT Legislation Member Says Shen Yun Provides the World With Immense Value

CANBERRA, Australia—Andrew Braddock, ACT Greens member and spokesperson for Multicultural Affairs, saw Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Canberra Theatre on May 2.

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Mr. Braddock was elected to the ACT (Australian Capital Territory) Legislative Assembly in 2020 and is a member for the Gungahlin based seat of Yerrabi.

“To be exposed to the cultural performances and the athleticism of the performance, it’s absolutely incredible … I’ve been enjoying it so much,” he said.

“The jumps and twirls are just out of this world,” he added. “They are just so athletic, so impressive, that it makes me just go ‘wow, I wish I could do that!’”

Captivated by the women’s classical Chinese dance, “Water Sleeves,” he said, “you could just see this vibrant waves of color and movement happening, which was very otherworldly.”

Based in New York, Shen Yun is the world’s premier classical Chinese dance company. Through the universal language of music and dance, Shen Yun presents story-based dances depicting heavenly realms, ancient legends, and modern heroic tales spanning 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture.

As a young kid who grew up on “monkey magic,” Mr. Braddock said he appreciated the dance story from the classic novel “Journey to the West” about a band of unlikely Buddhist heroes on a quest for sacred scriptures.

“The story of Monkey, Pigsy, and Sandy definitely brought back a lot of childhood memories for me. I was very impressed,” he said.

‘Heartfelt’ and ‘Poignant Story’

Mr. Braddock was also particularly moved by the story-based dance portraying the persecution of Falun Dafa, a meditation discipline based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.

“The story about Falun Dafa struck home,” he said, “that was a very poignant story … very heartfelt.”

In 1999, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched a persecution campaign against the spiritual practice, and adherents have since been subjected to unprecedented imprisonment, torture, and abuse.

“Exposing people around the world to the message … in terms of Falun Dafa … the value it provides the world is immense,” said Mr. Braddock. “These dance groups … help provide it in a form that people can relate to.”

“It’s communicating cultural heritage—it’s more than China—it is about all the cultural history and heritage that’s been in the arts that you see on display.”

‘Living Link To the Past’

Since 2006, Shen Yun has performed at top theatres worldwide with a mission to revive China’s 5,000-year-old traditional culture. Demonstrating “China before communism,” Shen Yun is banned from performing in China.

“I think it’s a shame that people aren’t able to see arts in all its forms, even when they might be challenging or counter to what the government may wish for people to see,” said Mr. Braddock.

“You can’t retain what you don’t maintain,” he said. “It takes time and effort to maintain this cultural history.”

“That’s a living link to the past,” he added. “It’s very important also for a sense of culture and identity for the Chinese people.

“So I’d like to thank all of the performers, whether they be on stage, in the orchestral pit, or behind the scenes making this happen.”

Reporting by NTD and Jennifer Schneider.

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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