Civil Rights Director ‘Learned a lot’ at Shen Yun

Epoch Times Staff
Created: January 10, 2013 Last Updated: January 12, 2013
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Debra Harrell holds her 2013 Shen Yun program after enjoying the performance at the Fox Theatre on Jan. 9. (Li Li/The Epoch Times)

Debra Harrell holds her 2013 Shen Yun program after enjoying the performance at the Fox Theatre on Jan. 9. (Li Li/The Epoch Times)

ATLANTA—Distinguished attorney Debra Harrell said she had never experienced anything like Shen Yun at the Fox Theatre on Jan. 9. Speaking of the cultural and educational aspects of the performance, she said, “I really enjoyed that and I learned a lot, learning the different practices and the historical aspect of the culture and again, it was not like anything I have ever experienced before, and those aspects being culturally sensitive in education, information and awareness, bringing those to the forefront.”

Ms. Harrell is director of Civil Rights for the Southern region for the USDA Forestry Service. She said that Shen Yun was extraordinarily beautiful, and that any audience member “walked away more knowledgeable than when [he or she] came in the door, of course, definitely.

Shen Yun intends to revive the divinely inspired 5,000 year old civilization,according to its website. Shen Yun’s mini-drama dances draw upon stories and legends that span China’s history from the Yellow Emperor and through the Tang and Song dynasties and all the way to the modern day. A unique feature of Chinese civilization is that its history has been documented and passed down uninterrupted for 5,000 years, sometimes in vivid detail. This provides Shen Yun with vast source material, making it possible to revive this ancient culture on a present-day stage.

The experience was incredibly beautiful, creative, superb, according to Ms. Harrell. She said that throughout her life in the United States, “I have never seen such a beautiful show, absolutely beautiful!”

Speaking of the dancers, she said they were very flexible, talented, and skilled, and their performance brought great pleasure to the audience. She said she could not believe the abundance, lightness and richness of the silk costumes, and with a laugh said the costumes must need their own tractor-trailer.

Ms. Harrell said that Shen Yun is extraordinarily magical.

She attended the last show of Shen Yun’s Atlanta 2013 series. For the first time, it visited two theaters. After three performances at the suburban Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, it gave two performances at the historic Fox Theatre, an architecturally significant 1929 movie palace in midtown Atlanta.

Reporting by Li Li and Mary Silver.

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s International Company will be in Fort Lauderdale from Jan. 11 to Jan. 13. For more information, visit

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