What is Falun Dafa (Falun Gong)? How is it related to Shen Yun?

Falun Dafa is also known as Falun Gong. It is a practice that combines teachings for self-improvement and meditation exercises. The teachings are centered on three main principles—truth, compassion, and tolerance. Shen Yun’s artists practice Falun Dafa, and it is a source of inspiration for our performances.

Both China and the West have a history of artists integrating spirituality into their work. In ancient China, artists would practice meditation and seek inner stillness and a connection with the universe; they believed that to create real art, one had to cultivate virtue and inner purity. Today, Shen Yun’s artists follow this noble tradition.

You may have heard about the persecution of Falun Dafa in China today. This started in 1999, when every morning tens of millions of people could be found practicing Falun Dafa exercises in parks throughout China. But fearful of its popularity as an independent ideology outside its control, the Communist Party launched a nationwide persecution campaign to try to wipe it out. In fact, the number of Falun Dafa practitioners had exceeded the number of Chinese Communist Party members.

Today, after enduring 20 years of torture, imprisonment, and killing, these spiritual seekers persevere in their faith and continue to resist, always through nonviolent means. Inspired, Shen Yun’s artistic team is bringing these stories to stages around the world. And it turns out these people’s courage and message of hope has moved millions of audience members.