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Shen Yun ‘Challenges Us to Think About the World’: Business Owner

PITTSBURGH—T.J. Belsterling, the owner of a landscaping company, had no idea what to expect when he arrived to see Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts on the evening of Jan. 14. At the conclusion of the show, Mr. Belsterling couldn’t recommend the experience enough.

“I’ve never seen it before. I was pleasantly surprised to get a really good message. [Shen Yun] made a lot of good points. It’s not only something everyone would enjoy but [the performance had messages] that everyone can take away from,” he said.

Upon finding out that the company guarantees a brand-new set of music and choreography each year, Mr. Belsterling said he would definitely be returning for more.

“[The dancers’] movements, their fluidity, the way they moved together, the storytelling—it was all wonderful. True art, really.”

Based in New York, Shen Yun Performing Arts is currently the world’s top classical Chinese dance and music company. Met with wide acclaim since its founding in 2006, Shen Yun has grown to include eight equally sized companies that tour the world simultaneously.

For Mr. Belsterling, Shen Yun “talked a lot about virtue and how we’ve gotten away from caring about one another. We’re so consumed in our own worlds, in our own heads.”

“I think [Shen Yun] challenges us to embrace each other rather than just ourselves. [We need to] express the divinity within ourselves and let the world see that,” he said.

Founded by leading Chinese artists who had fled the persecution of China’s communist regime, Shen Yun performers have made it their mission to revive and share with the world China’s 5,000 years of divinely inspired culture from the pre-communist era.

While Mr. Belsterling expressed that “it’s a shame” Shen Yun is currently forbidden by the communist party to perform in China, he believed that the show challenges people to think about not just what is going on in China, but in all the countries around the world.

“I hope one day [Shen Yun] can go to China because it has an awesome message. It’s one that everyone needs to hear—especially the people whose culture they represent,” he said.

“What’s important is not just the dancing, not just the artistry, but the actual message that comes through. It’s calling for that divinity within.”

Reporting by NTD and Jennifer Tseng.

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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