SALT LAKE CITY—Beauty pageant queen Danielle Cox was impressed after seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts for the first time at the Eccles Theater in Salt Lake City in February. There were 6 performances from Feb. 21 to 25 in Utah.
“Oh my gosh, it was absolutely incredible. It was like nothing that I have ever seen before,” said Danielle Cox, Miss USA Continental Worldwide 2022–2023.
“The performances were phenomenal. The dancers were so talented the singing, the piano, the music, all of it,” she said.
A former Mrs. Utah America also saw the performance.
“They don’t even look like they’re getting tired. It’s amazing to me, being a dancer myself. I see some of the stuff they’re doing, and I’m like, ‘Man, that would just wear me out’ and make me exhausted. But I love it. It’s awesome. You can tell that they worked really, really hard to get to where they’re at,” said Natalie Murray, Mrs. Utah America 2015.
“You hear, even the presenter, the lady that was presenting—her Chinese was like poetry the way she spoke, and the way she presented herself in such a lovely and peaceful way,” said Lisa Fifield, former ballet dancer with the Guangzhou Ballet Company.
It’s not Mrs. Fifield’s first time watching Shen Yun, which presents China before communist rule.
“Every time I see it I love it. It brings tears to my eyes when I think about the dancers that I love in China and just the weight and burden that we all felt under the communist party,” she said.
“When you come to a Shen Yun performance, you can expect to see dancers that are free dancers that are truly living by good principles,” Mrs. Fifield said.
“I love that they’re trying to tell the story of where China is right now and I felt like it’s really trying to fight for the freedom of the people of China, even though they’re not here,” Mrs. Murray said.
“I was pretty impressed with the boldness of the more modern characterization with the communism and freedom of religion and stuff. I didn’t know that that was still an issue so I think that’s pretty enlightening. I’m impressed by it,” said Nathan Oldham, partner at Reviate.
Audience members also praised the patented backdrop technology, which allows performers to interact with it to tell stories from China’s ancient past.
“That was terrific. The first time they popped out of the screen, we both went ‘Huh! How’d they do that?’ And then we watched every single, next time they did it we couldn’t wait to see them coming in and popping off and watching how they coordinate that. Do they have a trampoline below? Are they jumping up?” said Aaron King, YouTuber and owner of Photog Adventures.
“It was just incredible. I’ve never seen that technology, and to see it for the very first time, I couldn’t figure out how they did it,” said Mike Jarema, managing director at Serendip Ventures International.
“The 3D stuff coming in? Oh that is—I’ve never seen anything like that. That’s really phenomenal,” said Lance Murray, owner of Lance Murray Masonry.
“The backdrop is great. I like the interactivity. It was such a surprise the first time it came, but it’s been fun to see it,” said Cory Thompson, senior legal counsel at eBay.
Shen Yun’s mission is to revive genuine traditional Chinese culture, which patrons found uplifting.
Local Brad Neuenschwander watched the performance with his family.
“I really like—just the upbeat, kind of positive message. You know, I think there is a lot about just humanity, and how much we can contribute to one another and how we depend on each other to kind of move forward in life, and so I like that,” said Dr. Neuenschwander, a dermatologist at Tanner Clinic.
“So, we believe in [the] divine, too—divine beings, and I think that’s something we all share as human beings on the planet,” said his wife, Laurissa, who teaches piano.
“You leave feeling good. There’s an uplifting good message of just compassion, and goodness, and kindness kind of overcoming evil or bad,” said their son, Isaac, a computer science student at Brigham Young University.
“I just hope they know how much we all love it and enjoy it—all the surprises there are. It’s just really cool to see,” said their daughter Lily.
“I can’t believe that this is the first year that I’ve been to this. It’s such an incredible performance. It’s something that definitely will become a tradition of mine,” said Mrs. Cox
NTD News, Salt Lake City, Utah