WASHINGTON, D.C.—B.J. Penn, former acting secretary of the U.S. Navy, was among the enthusiastic theatergoers who packed the Kennedy Center Opera House on Saturday afternoon for Shen Yun Performing Arts.
Mr. Penn attended the Feb. 2 matinee performance with his wife, Loretta, for the second time in as many years, and said everybody needs to experience Shen Yun.
“I’d recommend the performance to everyone,” he said, adding that he was going to immediately call his friends to get tickets to upcoming shows.
“I have several friends in Providence so I’m going to call them tonight and tell them they must see this show when it gets there.”
Mr. Penn was the Assistant Secretary of the Navy in the United States Department of the Navy from 2005 to 2009. He also served as acting United States Secretary of the Navy from March to May 2009.
Shen Yun’s depiction of traditional Chinese culture and values is “good for the world,” he said.
“The message was good—the world is changing and I think this show depicted that.”
Mrs. Penn, who is the president of executive coaching company Spherion Staffing Services, agreed with her husband and said the ability to effectively convey such a powerful message was extraordinary.
“When you think of the thought behind that, and what it goes into putting something like this together, and to get the message out at the same time, that takes extraordinary talent and commitment from everyone who’s part of this organization,” she said. “It was excellent.”
New York-based Shen Yun is a world-renowned classical Chinese dance and music company. Formed in 2006 by overseas Chinese artists, the company’s mission is to revive 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture.
Mrs. Penn adored Shen Yun’s collection of story-based dance dramas and said the production was spectacular.
“The art of each individual, to be able to dance so perfectly, and then to tell the story so well, and of course the color, the background, all of the things to make the people look so beautiful—together it was truly spectacular,” she said.
“I enjoyed it immensely.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Justina Wheale.
Shen Yun New York Company is performing in Washington D.C. at the Kennedy Center Opera House from Jan 30 to Feb 3. Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, tours the world on a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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