Capitol Hill Panel Discussion
Two weeks after the conclusion of Shen Yun’s 2016 world tour, principal dancers Tony Xue and Rocky Liao, as well as myself, were invited to Washington, DC to speak at a panel marking 50 years since the start of the Cultural Revolution in China.
The panel, held on Capitol Hill, discussed how traditional Chinese culture has been destroyed, most notably during Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), how this culture is now being revived by Shen Yun Performing Arts, and how this renaissance could only be started outside of mainland China.
Tony Xue (above) told of his journey to becoming a Shen Yun principal dancer and the fulfillment he has found reconnecting with his own heritage.
And Principal Dancer Rocky Liao (below) gave a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes trials and hardships of a professional dancer, what it takes to overcome them, and why it’s all worth it.
I gave a brief introduction to Shen Yun’s history, the incident in South Korea last month, why the Chinese Communist Party fears Shen Yun, and how it hasn’t slowed down the company.
My bottom line was that Shen Yun, and the revival of traditional culture, is not just Chinese issues. We are a U.S., New York-based company facing interference, harassment, intimidation, and direct sabotage from a foreign government and its secret operatives. It is happening in America, from big cities to small-town USA, and it is happening to us when we travel internationally as an American company overseas.
Shen Yun, as an ethnic-Chinese company based in New York, represents all that is wonderful and complex about the United States, and needs our protection and support.