MILWAUKEE—“I’m enjoying it immensely,” said Federal Judge Rudolph Randa during intermission of the performance by Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company at the Milwaukee Theatre, Feb. 19. “It is something that I hadn’t seen before. It is a wonderful introduction, as you say, to traditional dance, Chinese dance.”
“It is a pleasure for me to be here,” said Judge Randa. He bought the tickets to the performance as a Christmas present for his wife, Melinda, a psychiatric social worker.
Mrs. Randa felt that Shen Yun is “absolutely inspiring and beautiful. My husband surprised me with these tickets. I loved it a lot.”
Judge Randa was appointed by George H. W. Bush as an Article III U.S. judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in 1992. He served the U.S. Army with distinction, earning the Bronze Star Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with five campaign stars, and the National Defense Service Medal for his two years in Vietnam. He was also awarded the Vietnam Campaign Medal by the Republic of Vietnam.
Shen Yun’s mission is to revitalize traditional Chinese culture, a culture inspired by the Heavens, yet almost completely destroyed by the Chinese communist regime. Being based outside of China in New York, Shen Yun has the freedom to express this culture through traditional dance, music, and legends, the company website states.
Judge Randa was impressed with “The physical abilities of the dancers and how effortless they make everything look and the amount of grace that comes out, especially through the female dancers.”
“It’s incredible,” he said. “It just bowls me over that people can behave in that fashion—artistically with the appearance of not putting any effort into it all—though one knows it is a tremendous amount of effort.”
Mrs. Randa agreed: “It is just breathtaking!” She elaborated: “They make it look so easy, but when you think about what they are doing, it takes your breath away.”
Shen Yun brings together 5,000 years of history from various dynasties and eras to modern times by storytelling through short pieces of classical Chinese dance, a distinctive and comprehensive dance system.
Judge Randa valued it as entertainment, but saw beyond that to something deeper. “I see the entertainment value, and … getting to indulge in another culture, perhaps understanding the old China as opposed to the modern.”
“It is great to see an entire culture and its expressions,” he said.
From Shen Yun’s dancers, Judge Randa sensed openness, cooperation and tolerance. The dancers are “just very open to, it seems, to cooperation and a willingness to understand other people and share their tolerance and cooperation with other people—it seems that way. The dancers are expressing that to me, anyway.”
Judge Randa would definitely recommend seeing Shen Yun.
Reporting by Valerie Avore and Cat Rooney.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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