WASHINGTON–Journalist and best-selling author Ken Timmerman was among the theatergoers who packed the Kennedy Center Opera House on Thursday to see Shen Yun Performing Arts.
Mr. Timmerman, who is also an activist, Nobel Peace Prize nominee, and former GOP Senate and House Representative candidate, attended the Jan. 31 evening performance with his family. Mr. Timmerman said every aspect of the show was outstanding.
“It’s a wonderful, wonderful experience,” he said. “Something I’d never seen before.”
“Everything stands out. As an American, this is such a wonderful new experience—both the fantastic costumes and expressions of the tableaus at the end of each piece—absolutely fantastic,” he said.
Mr. Timmerman is the executive director of the Foundation of Democracy in Iran and an advocate for international political and religious freedom. He is also a best-selling author and nationally recognized investigative reporter with authority on defense and intelligence issues. Mr. Timmerman was the 2012 Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in Maryland, and he was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for his work to expose the buildup of nuclear weapons in Iran.
Mr. Timmerman said that the New York-based Shen Yun, an internationally renowned classical Chinese dance and music company, helps audiences understand “what’s going on inside China today.”
According to Shen Yun’s website, China’s divinely-inspired traditional culture thrived for 5,000 years, but it was destroyed during the numerous violent campaigns, such as the Cultural Revolution, waged by the Chinese Communist regime in recent decades.
It is this ancient traditional culture and its art forms that Shen Yun seeks to revive.
“It’s a great pleasure and honor to be here,” said Mr. Timmerman. He said he was here to learn about traditional Chinese culture and dance.
He said he enjoyed Shen Yun’s collection of story-based dances that aim to capture the essence and values of traditional Chinese culture.
“This is certainly a new form, a new art form for me as an American,” he said. “It’s not like a classic opera or ballet—it’s something very different, with the mixture of costumes and music and dancing, which is absolutely sensational.”
He added the stage effects and aesthetics were uniquely beautiful, and that each scene could be a piece of art in itself.
“If you freeze the frames, it’s something you can take it with you,” he said. “Like a picture in a museum.”
With reporting by NTD Television and Justina Wheale
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun New York Company is performing in Washington D.C. at the Kennedy Center Opera House from Jan 30 — Feb 3. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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