Shen Yun Shows China Before Communism, Says Company Founder

January 11, 2023

SAN FRANCISCO: Many of the audience members at the War Memorial Opera House on Jan. 6 watched Shen Yun Performing Arts for the first time. Among them was Stefan Heitmann and his family.

“I love it. I think it’s fantastically done,” Mr. Heitmann said after seeing the performance.

“The arts, the costumes, the colors, the music, everything, the composition—it is a beautiful piece. So we really enjoy it,” said Mr. Heitmann, founder of real-estate tech company PriceHubble.

“It’s great to see the daughters enjoying it just as much,” he said.

Under the Chinese Communist Party, China’s ancient culture was nearly lost. New York-based Shen Yun’s mission is to bring it back, something that many audience members, such as Mr. Heitmann, appreciated.

“It’s showing a piece of art that is actually preceding communism,” he said.

“It’s obviously something that has been rooted in China,” he said, adding that the performance also showed how freedom of belief is repressed in contemporary China.

‘Highest Level’

Joshua Russell, marketing director at Evergreen Valley College, spoke of how watching Shen Yun transported him to another world.

“It’s not the kind of thing you experience in regular life,” Mr. Russell said.

Shen Yun allowed him to be “transported into these different times and different places and different characters,” he said, adding how it “gives you the ability to escape from your regular life and be in the moment of different times and places.”

After the restrictions of the pandemic, Mr. Russell said he appreciates being able to watch a live performance.

“To actually go to live arts and be able to come to something like this, and see just this art form at kind of the highest level, is pretty incredible,” Mr. Russell said.

Na Li, president of the Iowa City Area Chinese Association, said she had seen Shen Yun three times.

“I always like to enjoy classic Chinese dance. And I like the spirits described in the show, especially those famous Chinese stories, [‘Journey to the West’], and the hero in the marshlands, and the three Kingdoms,” she said.

“And also, I like the idea of fighting for justice, to save the people who are wronged or harmed.”

Spirituality Theme

Paul Cocotis, former president of Shimmick Construction, appreciated the messages portrayed in the performances.

“The theme, spirituality, and just all the ancient history, I thought that was really neat,” Mr. Cocotis said.

Some of Shen Yun’s pieces tell stories about when spirituality was of utmost importance to the Chinese people.

“I think spirituality is important,” he said.

Shen Yun can show what traditional “Chinese culture really is,” he said, adding that the culture isn’t about communism.

NTD News, San Francisco