Shen Yun Sends a ‘Divine message from heaven’

Epoch Times Staff Created: July 8, 2012 Last Updated: July 8, 2012
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Tana Durnbaugh (C) with her friend Steven Chen (R) enjoying an evening at Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Civic Opera House.

Tana Durnbaugh (C) with her friend Steven Chen (R) enjoying an evening at Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Civic Opera House.

CHICAGO—Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company returned to Chicago for two shows at the Civic Opera House. Sold-out performances in April rendered the return of Shen Yun to Chicago in a rare summer performance.

Shen Yun is a presentation of traditional Chinese culture as it once was, revealing 5,000 years of Chinese culture through music and dance.

In the audience on Saturday, July 7, were Steven Chen, an engineer of automotive electronics, and his friend Tana Durnbaugh, a retired nurse educator.

Mr. Chen, who is of Chinese origin, said of the performance: “I grasped the essence of the Chinese tradition,” and added, “Deep in the heart they carry the Chinese tradition.”

“We heard about the show for many years and we finally came to enjoy it,” said Mr. Chen. “I guess it was long overdue and when we saw the advertisement we said, yes this is the year.”

Ms. Durnbaugh particularly enjoyed How the Monkey King Came To Be.

“I had never heard [about Monkey King] before. It is obviously a really well imbedded legend in China, and so both of my friends were telling me how important it was to them, and its beautiful,” she said.

The Monkey King is the central character in China’s classic novel Journey to the West. Born out of a rock, he has magical powers that allow him to travel freely between Heaven and Earth.

Mr. Chen felt that Shen Yun sent a “divine message from heaven.”

According to the website, Shen Yun’s mission is to reclaim and renew the true, divinely-inspired cultural heritage of China. Shen Yun creates an all-new production every year.

Reporting by Valerie Avore and Maureen Zebian.

Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, tours the world on a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. For more information, visit


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