Shen Yun Shows ‘Heaven on Earth’: Fairfax, Virginia Audience

January 27, 2023

In Fairfax, Virginia, the theater was filled with enthusiasm at three Shen Yun performances throughout the weekend of the Lunar New Year.

Robert Dale Lynch is an award-winning architect whose work is driven by an appreciation and search for beauty and humanity. Mr. Lynch had an enlightening experience being immersed in beauty while seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts.

“I’ve been trying to get my whole family. I wanted my whole family to be here tonight. I got the tickets for Shen Yun as a Christmas present from Anne, and I just couldn’t wait. I couldn’t sleep last night wanting to get here and I was afraid in the traffic that we would be late. We just made it,” he said at the George Mason University Center for the Arts in Fairfax, Virginia, after attending the performance with his wife Anne.

“He was nervous as a cat,” she said.

“It was just a delightful evening,” said Mrs. Lynch. “The costuming was so magnificent. And the setting, it was just like nothing we’ve ever seen before.”

Among the audience was Virginia state Senator J. Chapman Petersen, who came with his wife and youngest daughter.

“It’s just so much activity and athleticism. The dancers are such great athletes, and the women are so beautiful, and the beautiful costumes, and it’s very colorful. I love the colors. And the sets are amazing,” he said.

And John Bowes, a pilot from United Airlines, was impressed by the dancing, the orchestra, and all of it. “It’s a fantastic production. It’s well put together. I’m very entertained.”

Natalie Butler, a former WNBA player, came with her 86-year-old grandmother and her brother. “It’s incredible. I mean, everything from the dancing to the costumes and orchestra. It’s been quite a magical experience.”

She also said her grandmother loved it. “She keeps saying, ‘Wow, it’s so impressive.’ So she’s enjoying every moment.”

New York-based Shen Yun shows the cultures of China that can no longer be openly expressed in China today under the current communist regime.

“I think a lot of people see China as a negative, you know, with communism, and they see the restrictions on freedom, and they see all the restrictions with COVID-19 and the restrictions on Falun Gong. And so they have a negative portrayal of China. But the Chinese people are so creative, they’re dynamic, and they’ve come all over the world. They’ve come to America and had such an influence on our culture, that I think Shen Yun is an ability to speak, tell the Chinese story, outside of communism—tell the Chinese story about Chinese people,” said Mr. Petersen.

From legends and myths to ethnic and folk dances—Shen Yun aims to bring back China’s divinely inspired culture.

“Colorful, dynamic, hopeful—those are the words I’d use,” said Mr. Petersen.

After the experience, Mr. Lynch said he was filled with gratitude, enthusiasm, and support and wanted to express it. Having not known much about Chinese culture or history prior to Shen Yun, he was “amazed at how beautiful” the culture and virtues were.

He added that he was moved by “the desire, the deep desire in the Chinese people to bring back what they’ve had.”

“I’m so amazed that the great parallel between the Chinese culture of 5000 years, and our Western culture, the philosophy of truth, and compassion, and forbearance is very much Christian thinking too. And I’m amazed at it. And I hope the Chinese can bring back [that]. and I believe that Shen Yun is doing a wonderful, wonderful job,” he said.

Many were touched by the singers who use a classical bel canto technique.

Mr. Lynch said the female vocalist was “so powerful, extremely powerful,” and the male soloist “had an awful lot of soul, expression in his presentation. They carried me away.”

“[The tenor] was awesome. The way he was singing, it almost brought tears to my eyes. He had so much effort, so much emotion, and it was really wonderful,” said Mr. Petersen “It’s very beautiful. It’s very inspiring.”

Shen Yun also tells the story of modern-day persecution that happens in China today under communism.

Audience members say they were especially touched by the story that moved from tragedy to hope.

“I can’t remember the last time I cried. But when the young girl was killed … tears were running down my face. And I’m not embarrassed by it. But it hasn’t happened in my memory. I can’t remember ever having cried like that,” he said.

“I think [Shen Yun] shows both the good and evil—but many times we can see that good overcomes evil,” said Thomas Oldenburg, a former senior space policy analyst at Aerospace Corporation.

“It was the fact that beauty and inner compassion has a great strength. And that strength is demonstrated. And we see that both in the performance, the actors, and even the storyline itself, and I think that can carry on to today’s society,” he added.

The audience described the joy they saw in Shen Yun’s performance as one tied to the divine and vital to humanity.

“I think everyone should see it. I think it gives people guidance that will help them day to day,” said Robert Friel, who used to work in the secret service. “It’s helping me and I’m sure my family got a lot.”

He added that Shen Yun is inspirational, gives great values, and gives people hope. “In today’s world that’s so polarized. It gives you hope. Couldn’t ask for much more.”

“You can have heaven on earth if you live your life the way Shen Yun is portraying it,” said Mr. Lynch.

Shen Yun troupes are performing in eight locations in the United States this week, including Memphis and Washington, D.C.

NTD News, Fairfax, Virginia