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‘We Should Follow Shen Yun’s Example,’ Says Korean Professor of Dance

SEOUL, Korea—Lee Byoungok, an honorary professor at Yong In University’s Department of Dance, attended Shen Yun’s matinee at the National Theater of Korea on Feb. 19.

The professor said excitedly after the show that Shen Yun has brought about the Renaissance of classical dance. He believes that artists everywhere can learn from Shen Yun Performing Arts.

“I have long studied the folk dances of the world. I believe Shen Yun is the embodiment of all the unique history, traditions, and techniques of classical Chinese dance,” he said. “That’s a difficult thing to achieve these days. Everything in the show was very approachable and easy to understand—that’s a wonderful thing.”

Professor Lee added that in today’s world—where traditional dance is dying out and contemporary dance is heavily dictated by Western culture—Shen Yun brought him “happiness and hope” for the future of dance.

Based in New York, Shen Yun is the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music company. The artists’ mission is to bring back China’s 5,000 years of divinely-inspired culture that had been destroyed by decades of communist rule.

Prior to the regime’s spread of atheism, the teachings of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism were indelible parts of Chinese life. Shen Yun’s goal is to share with everyone the beauty of China before communism.

Having avidly studied Chinese culture since the 1990s, Professor Lee recognized at a glance that the flips and tumbling techniques Shen Yun dancers utilized came from traditional China.

He also loved the performers’ authentic portrayal of various ethnic groups.

“Each ethnic minority has their own distinct dance movements—such as the Mongolians racing their horses and the Tibetans with their long flowing sleeves,” he said.

“Shen Yun’s male dancers fully brought out the strength and masculinity of these people. It was very exciting. I am in awe!”

When speaking of Shen Yun’s short story-based dances, Professor Lee couldn’t stop tearing up.

It was very emotional. The stories spoke of life and of our descendants—it really moved me.

— Professor Lee Byoungok

“It was very emotional. The stories spoke of life and of our descendants—it really moved me,” he said. “It’s not just that the dancing was great, it’s the message behind it—the loyalty, the filial piety, and the love for your family and heritage. It’s all very touching.”

In Professor Lee’s opinion, in the art world today, people who are studying classical dance put too much emphasis on analysis, while those in the creative professions won’t stop complaining about the lack of budget. As a result, nothing gets done.

As an art critic, Professor Lee said this is such a pity. “We should all stop to reflect on the current situation,” he said.

“I thought a lot about it and I believe we should learn from Shen Yun. It would be amazing if Korea can also present our folk dances to the world—just like what Shen Yun is doing. It may be difficult, but that’s my hope.”

For now, Professor Lee thought everyone in the art world should study Shen Yun and think about how best to revive traditional culture and values.

“We should follow Shen Yun’s example and strengthen our principles and work ethics to achieve the spirit and attitude that is required of true artists.”

Reporting by Epoch Times Staff in Seoul, South Korea.

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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