Shen Yun Recreates the Beauty of Traditional Chinese Culture, Says Former Commissioner

Epoch Times Staff
Created: February 9, 2013 Last Updated: February 10, 2013
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Thomas Blust and his granddaughter enjoy an evening at Shen Yun Performing Arts in Cincinnati. (Valerie Avore/The Epoch Times)

Thomas Blust and his granddaughter enjoy an evening at Shen Yun Performing Arts in Cincinnati. (Valerie Avore/The Epoch Times)

CINCINNATI—Thomas Blust took the opportunity Friday to teach his granddaughter about classical Chinese music and dance—some of the oldest art forms in the world—by taking her to see Shen Yun Performing Arts.

“I have been explaining parts to my granddaughter so she would understand the different [Chinese] ethic groups,” said Mr. Blust during the intermission. “She is enjoying the costumes, the dancing, and music.”

Mr. Blust was the longtime chief of the civil division in the Clermont County Prosecutor’s office before his retirement in 2010, and also served as the interim Clermont County commissioner last year. He attended the Feb. 8 Shen Yun performance at Aronoff Center with granddaughter Shaylee, and said it was a wonderful cultural experience.

“I think they have done an excellent job of creating the beauty of the culture and the vastness of the history of the county,” he said. “I will take that home.”

New York-based Shen Yun is a world-renowned classical Chinese dance and music company. Formed in 2006 by overseas Chinese artists, Shen Yun aims to revive 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture.

According to the Shen Yun website, China’s divinely-inspired traditional culture originated from the three ideological pillars of Buddhism, Daoism and Confucianism. This culture thrived for thousands of years before being virtually destroyed under various violent campaigns, such as the Cultural Revolution, waged by the Chinese communist regime.

Mr. Blust said Shen Yun’s collection of story-based dances allowed audiences a multi-layered experience that is at once entertaining and educational for all ages.

“It’s rich in the history of [China],” he said. “You can understand, as they move through these segments, [the historical references]. Or you can simply sit down, and take in the music and the costumes and the artistic and athletic abilities of the dancers—I think you could enjoy it either way.”

He was also impressed by Shen Yun’s original orchestra, which accompanies each dance piece and features traditional Chinese instruments leading the melodies.

“It’s excellent,” he said. “I’ve explained to [Shaylee] that there were traditional orchestra pieces and then Chinese instruments that would be blending in together, which was very unique.”

Mr. Blust said he decided to attend the show because he enjoys trying new experiences, and had a wonderful time.

Reporting by Valerie Avore and Justina Wheale.

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit

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