Financial Educator Describes Shen Yun as ‘Artwork in Motion’

April 6, 2024

Audience members watching Shen Yun Performing Arts on April 2 said they felt like the performance was presented in a very creative and educational way.

“It is artwork in motion,” said Joe Pepper, a financial educator at Heartland Institute of Financial Education. “It is amazing, absolutely incredible. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

“I’m so deeply touched by the precision, the passion, and the discipline to get people to perform with no effort,” said Dee Valdez Pepper, director of distinction at Heartland Institute of Financial Education. “It’s just an outpouring of people’s hearts and their spirits. I grew up as a dancer and understand the immense amount of practice that it takes to make it look like it doesn’t take any effort.”

“The storylines and the costumes and we read all about the patent with the technology on the back screen and kind of the live action. That was so incredible and it’s not what we get here,” said Kacie Merrick, senior manager of Corporate Partnerships at Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation.

Shen Yun’s 3D animated backdrop sets scenes to help tell the stories being portrayed on stage. The performers interact with it to bring the audience to different dynasties and realms.

“It was very creative. I loved how people came in and out of scene and it was fun and playful,” said Sam Sokol, inventor of Graticube.

“I’ve never seen anything so big with that backdrop and how they jump behind and then they take off, and then they come back. It’s almost magical,” said Mr. Pepper. “When they have their introduction of the theme and the dancers come out, you’re seeing participants in the story conveyed … it’s like a storybook of dance and I really loved watching how it unfolds page by page, but it’s move by move.

Shen Yun showcases China’s long history from legends and myths to modern-day China. Including pieces that tell the story of perseverance of faith under communist oppression. Audience members say they feel a sense of hope and bravery as the performance brings these atrocities to light.

“I keep crying and it’s like, I’m so happy I brought tissue,” said Mrs. Pepper. “It’s so moving because there’s so much truth to what is being told. I mean, who would think of a number about a restaurant? That is so creative and way out there, but also the organ harvesting. That’s a really important reality.”

“I think there’s a lot I don’t know about China. There’s a lot I don’t know about the oppression that’s happened and a lot of cultural pieces that haven’t gotten out, things that I still don’t know. So there’s more curiosity I think coming out of this, for me,” said Mr. Sokol.

“Even the energy that you could feel among the dancers and bringing that within the music and the orchestra and the soloists,” said Ms. Merrick. “Everyone clearly felt kind of that spiritual lift altogether which made it I think a really incredible performance.”

“I think all theatrical elements really played into when we were supposed to follow that storyline, whether it be musically, or theatrically, dance-wise, lighting, scene changes, costuming, everything sort of flowed beautifully in and out of those worlds so that we could follow it fairly easily,” said Trinity Thomas, executive assistant at Soul Food Scholar, LLC. “And it was really clear and truly a captivating experience.

NTD News, Denver, Colorado