Former Asst. Secretary of State of East Asian And Pacific Bureau Applauds Shen Yun

January 26, 2023

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.—Shen Yun Performing Arts had two performances in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Jan. 18 and 19.

David Stilwell, former assistant secretary for the Bureau of East Asian And Pacific Affairs, applauded the performance after watching Shen Yun at Pikes Peak Center for the Performing Arts on Jan. 18.

“The combination of the music and the dancing was at some times uplifting, you know my toes are tapping, and I want to get out of my seat. But it was also very calming and soothing and relaxing. So we hit both ends of the spectrum,” Stilwell said.

Shen Yun features a live orchestra and is based in New York. The classical Chinese dance and music company portrays China before communism.

“The best thing about it is it’s doing its best to preserve Chinese traditional history, Chinese culture, while we have a government that’s doing its best to destroy that culture,” Stilwell said.

“I mean, think about it—since 1949, the Great Leap Forward, the madness of the Cultural Revolution. Were it not for people like [Shen Yun], all those treasures would have been destroyed, all that history, all the relics would have not been around today.”

Rick Trinkle, space observation expert at Delta Solutions and Strategies, said he learned a lot from seeing Shen Yun.

“I think it’s things that most Americans don’t know about and could benefit from learning from. I [went] to China in 1984, and I didn’t even know the mythology and the subject matter that’s being presented here,” Trinkle said.

The performance uses a combination of music, dance, costumes, and animated backdrops in its dance pieces.

Simon Gray, owner of Anytime Fitness, said the performers were “amazing.”

“I wish I could do some of those moves, you know? The ability to stretch how they can stretch, and jump how they can jump, do the things they can do,” said Gray, who watched Shen Yun with his two young daughters.

“I looked over at their faces, and I could see gasping,” he said of his daughters. “And you know you win when you look over at the daughters, and they’re like ‘I didn’t know that was possible.’”

Brent Essing, operations manager at Alpha and Omega Business Solutions, said Shen Yun was “spectacular in a lot of ways.”

“Many years ago, I actually have a music theater background and so forth, so I can appreciate a lot of the artistry. Also, it’s very fascinating the way they interact with the background. I had no idea that the background would be that animated,” Essing said.

One audience member shared how he was touched by the performance.

“I was not prepared for the emotional response my body had to this thing—from humility and valor, heaven, Earth, the eastern culture was depicted, excellent—excellent. By dance, and art,” said Jason Angel, owner of Angel Roofing.

“The battle over the young prince invoked—it made me cry a little bit. I’m not going to lie. It was beautiful. My heart’s still pumping. So, it was awesome. Wouldn’t recommend not coming, that’s for sure,” Angel said.

Most of the artists draw inspiration from the spiritual practice Falun Gong, which is being persecuted under China’s communist regime.

“I would recommend it wholeheartedly. It is telling the truth about what’s happening now. It describes the persecution. It describes the lack of freedoms that people have and the plight what they’re going through. And most Americans don’t know about that. So, definitely, I encourage everyone to learn about this,” Trinkle said.

“When Shen Yun comes to town, I thoroughly recommend getting out and seeing it. It’s very different than what you’ve seen before, but in many ways it’s familiar too,” said Stilwell.

“If you can see it, take the chance. Go out and be surprised.”

Shen Yun now has 8 different companies performing throughout the world.

NTD News, Colorado Springs