Marine Corps Veteran Admires Shen Yun

Epoch Times Staff
Created: January 20, 2013 Last Updated: January 20, 2013
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RALEIGH, N.C.—Doug Ratcliff, a former Marine, master’s candidate and a manager in the HVAC industry for 37 years, nearly surprised his wife out of her chair when he said he wanted to see Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts on Jan. 19.

“When I first saw the [Shen Yun] commercial I told my wife—and I don’t go to performances and concerts—I said ‘I want to go to this one’ and she nearly fell out of the chair,” Mr. Ratcliff said.

Based in New York, Shen Yun’s mission to revive the divinely inspired civilization of China.

Mr. Ratcliff said he fully enjoyed Shen Yun. He spent three years in Asia, mostly learning about Japanese culture, yet he has always had a deep admiration for Chinese culture.

He said Shen Yun was very educational for him and he admired the traditional Chinese clothing and the traditional Chinese dance.

Gary Neal, a pastor, has always felt an affinity for China. He said he loved Shen Yun. “It’s very good,” Mr. Neal said.

“I’m very interested in Chinese culture,” he said.

Shen Yun presents 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture through classical Chinese music and dance.

“The dance brings a lot out of the culture and I like that,” Mr. Neal said.

Mr. Neal said he was particularly moved by the dancers’ expressions. “The beliefs come out of their expression and today’s culture loses that,” he said.

He approves of people expressing their inner feelings and beliefs. “I think the world pulls away from where we came from, and if we believe in something strong enough, I think we should express how we feel about it instead of hiding it inside of us,” Mr. Neal said.

According to Shen Yun’s website, “Classical Chinese dance is rich with expressive power.”

“Through expression of bearing and form, beautiful dance movements bring out the inner meaning of intrinsic thoughts and feelings, reflecting the peculiarities of human nature,” the company’s website states.

“I like how that is expressed and brought out,” he said.

Mr. Neal is fond of respecting one’s elders, one’s culture, and one’s ancestors, but said that respect is lost in today’s world. He thinks traditional Chinese culture can revive that virtue.

“They are talking about using their performing arts to revive the culture of their ancestors and I agree with that—I like that,” Mr. Neal said.

Mr. Neal said the performers did a good job. “I enjoyed it very much,” he said.

Reporting by Sally Sun and Kelly Ni.

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s International Company is in Raleigh from Jan. 19-20, and will visit Charlotte Jan. 26-27. For more information, visit

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