Shen Yun ‘Wear Their Heart on Their Sleeves,’ Says Tax Attorney

January 20, 2023

During its last performances in Berkeley, Shen Yun left audience members in awe and wanting more.

“Oh, it’s spectacular. It’s so beautiful that it just takes your breath away,” said Sharon Sagan, a research associate at UCSF. “The men and the women are both just so elegant and graceful. And the costumes are very ethereal. And the music is very inspiring as well. So just visually it’s a tremendous experience.”

“The costumes were unbelievable, the dancing, the choreography, you know, absolutely blew me away. I really enjoyed it,” said Norm DeWitt, a member of the Board of Directors for the Experimental Aircraft Association.

Some audience members were inspired to incorporate aspects of traditional Chinese culture into their lives.

“It inspires me as a painter. I think I would like to paint some of the dancers because it’s something that I [have] never seen or that people don’t see,” said Linda Shumaker, a painter from Santa Cruz. “I’m just a little overwhelmed by the quality of, and the mastery of these dancers and the musicians as well.”

“The costumes were incredible. I was sitting there watching the choreography and I was just as much looking at the costumes and the way that the fabrics moved and the way that the costumes really emphasized just the movements of the dancers, the athleticism. And they have an expression of their own, you know? So it was beautiful,” said Nicole Guarascio, a fashion stylist.

For former Novato mayor Bill Cope, this is his 9th or 10th time watching Shen Yun.

“There’s an awful lot about 5,000 years of Chinese culture that I don’t know and most people don’t know, being westerners, or Caucasians here in the States. So I think that there’s an awful lot to learn. And I enjoy going to things that are informational, educational, and entertaining,” said Cope.

Thousands of years of Chinese culture was nearly destroyed and lost under the Communist regime. Shen Yun’s mission is to revive that divinely inspired culture.

“For someone like me who’s not Chinese, I think it will enable me to empathize more with those who’ve lived through communism,” said Patrick Roach, a tax attorney. “And you know, it’s easy to oppose it as an American, but to see a performance like that, I think helps you to appreciate what people have actually suffered. And so there were moments where you just feel sort of intense sadness and empathy for people.”

“The desire for virtue and truth and compassion, and I love that, forbearance, looked like it was really a universal spirituality,” said Sagan. “And I could really connect with the pain that people are feeling and the beauty of the culture and religion.”

“When it came to like the, sort of, elements of faith and religion, they very much wear their heart on their sleeves,” said Roach. “And that’s, I think, kind of an uncommon thing to see anymore, but something that I very much appreciate. I was glad to see. It’s refreshing.”

Shen Yun’s 8 dance troupes are touring worldwide, one of which will head to Folsom with three performances at the Harris Center for the Arts.

NTD News, Berkeley, California