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Assistant Dean: Shen Yun Successfully Restores Culture

Traditional Culture ‘will eventually return to China and will be embraced again’


Epoch Times Staff
Created: February 9, 2013 Last Updated: February 9, 2013
Related articles: Shen Yun On Tour » Special Section
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Mr. Schoenfeld and his wife, Jeni Schoenfeld, attend Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Aronoff Center for the Arts on Feb. 8. (Charlie Lu/The Epoch Times)

Mr. Schoenfeld and his wife, Jeni Schoenfeld, attend Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Aronoff Center for the Arts on Feb. 8. (Charlie Lu/The Epoch Times)

CINCINNATI—The Shen Yun performance was “a successful attempt to restore cultural tradition that … the current Chinese government has attempted to wipe out or eliminate; but it can’t because it’s got has thousands of years of tradition that is well established and it will eventually return to China and will be embraced again,” said Jim Schoenfeld at the Aronoff Center for the Arts on Feb. 8.

Mr. Schoenfeld is the Assistant Dean at College of Law at the University of Cincinnati and he attended with his wife Jeni Schoenfeld, who is a nurse.

Mr. Schoenfeld captured the mission of New York-based Shen Yun—it aims to revive 5,000 years of divinely inspired culture through traditional music and dance.

“I think it was great; I really liked it. It was very enjoyable,” said Mrs. Schoenfeld. She said she didn’t realize the performance help her would learn about China’s many ethnic groups and artistic traditions.

“The dance was varied; the costumes were beautiful; the music was beautiful, and everything was beautiful,” she continued.

At the heart of Shen Yun is classical Chinese dance, and the program includes ethnic and folk dances as well.

Mrs. Schoenfeld, who appreciates ballet, felt classical Chinese dance was truly enjoyable.

“The movements, the flowing of the garments, I thought it [had] a lot of talent. It was really pretty,” she said. She also enjoyed the fact that stories were told through the dances.

Mr. Schoenfeld liked the visual part, too. “What I liked best about the show was the interactivity between the screen and the dancers.”

He was referring the digital backdrops, which the dancers seem to emerge from and enter.

“Yes that was fun,” he said. “The timing was perfect.”

“It was unique,” Mrs. Schoenfeld added.

Vocal soloists are part of Shen Yun. They sing in the bel canto style in Chinese, and the lyrics are projected in Chinese and English behind them.

Mr. Schoenfeld commented on the spirituality in the lyrics: “I think it is a pretty universal human concept … so yes, I think we can relate to it very well.”

Reporting by Charlie Lu and Sharon Kilarski.

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org

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