Apparel Company President Sees 5,000 Years of Culture in Shen Yun

NEW YORK—Kit Devereux, president of John Paul Richard, said that Shen Yun Performing Arts was a completely new experience.

“I thought it was just so beautiful, and unlike anything that we have ever seen before,” she said, after seeing the New York-based Shen Yun at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater on April 28.

John Paul Richard makes modern apparel for department and specialty stores throughout the Americas. Before becoming president of the company, Ms. Devereux was vice president of merchandising at the Mamiye Group and Liz Claiborne.

While Ms. Devereux travels to China several times a year, she said the Chinese culture presented in Shen Yun is “completely different” than what she sees in China.

The Chinese culture has a history of 5,000 years, which was accumulated over a series of dynasties and eras. Traditional art forms, such as the classical Chinese dance that is at the heart of Shen Yun, also developed over thousands of years, resulting in unique dance movements, rhythms, and inner meaning.

“It’s just pretty amazing to me that it’s all been still captured and someone’s presenting it,” said Ms. Devereux.

“It’s a wonderful thing.”

Shen Yun is based in New York, where its artistic creators are able to freely express themselves and revive their ancient Chinese culture, according to the Shen Yun website. Despite having earned worldwide acclaim, Shen Yun cannot perform in China.

Ms. Devereux said that it “boggles the mind” that the communist regime won’t allow Shen Yun to present the country’s long and rich history to the Chinese people.

“I don’t really understand the reasons behind that … why the government would not want something as wonderful as this to be shown in China,” she said.

According to the Shen Yun website artistic freedom is not present in China today under a communist regime that has co-opted and destroyed the traditional arts.

“The courage and outspokenness of our artists is one of the reasons why Shen Yun is so well-loved,” the website further states.

Reporting by Gloria Gao and Zachary Stieber

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

The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.