Big Grin for Shen Yun in Grand Rapids

February 16, 2015 Updated: February 16, 2015

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—David and Maureen Moody just moved back to David’s home state of Michigan after retiring from jobs in Salina, Kansas. Mr. Moody was retired as a vice president of human resources at Salina Regional Health Center. His wife worked in personalized insurance.

What awaited them in Michigan was a dazzling performance of divinely inspired traditional Chinese culture depicted by Shen Yun Performing Arts International Company at the DeVos Performance Hall on Feb. 14.

Shen Yun’s mission is to revitalize 5,000 years of divinely inspired civilization through classical Chinese, folk, and ethnic dance, and a live orchestra with a unique sound by combining East and West traditional instruments.

“The synchronization [of the dancers] is phenomenal,” said Mrs. Moody. “I’m just sitting here with a grin on my face about the whole thing. It is fantastic.

Her husband’s response was that there is so much going on. “I know we should go back and see it a second time because there is so much we’ve missed,” said Mrs. Moody.

“It draws you in and you are just so enthralled with it, she said. “I’m so busy grinning! I caught myself and I thought, ‘Oh gosh, I’m just sitting here grinning. I don’t know how to explain it.”

“It’s just phenomenal. I can’t wait to go home and put a comment on Facebook-Go see it!

Mr. Moody greatly enjoyed the Shen Yun Performing Arts Orchestra. “It is so soothing and methodical. We really love it.”

“This is our first time coming here to the program, so we will definitely be back again, Mrs. Moody said. “We just love it, love it.”

‘It makes you feel joyful’

Steven and Kim Barrows found Shen Yun to be joyful and different at Grand Rapids' DeVos Performance Hall on Feb. 14. (Valerie Avore/Epoch Times)
Steven and Kim Barrows found Shen Yun to be joyful and different at Grand Rapids’ DeVos Performance Hall on Feb. 14. (Valerie Avore/Epoch Times)

Just like the Moodys, two doctors at the same performance were mesmerized by Shen Yun.

“I really enjoyed the show. The colors were very vibrant and made a nice contrast to the blustery winter outside,” said Dr. Steven Barrows, Aquinas College economic professor, about the Shen Yun performance.

He attended the Saturday evening performance with his wife, Dr. Kim Barrows.

“Through the universal language of music and dance, Shen Yun weaves a wondrous tapestry of heavenly realms, ancient legends, and modern heroic tales, taking you on a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese culture,” states the Shen Yun website.

“The colors, choreography, and music were very captivating. You walk away feeling a bit inspired and sort of uplifted. It was a really enjoyable experience,” said Dr. Steven Barrows.

He explains further that the dancing itself is uplifting. “The performers actually seem very joyful in their movements. When you watch people behave that way it makes you feel joyful too.”

“Chinese dance is at the heart of what Shen Yun does. Known for its incredible flips and spins, and its gentle elegance, it is one of the most rigorous and expressive art forms in the world,” according to the Shen Yun website. “Classical Chinese dance has helped preserve 5,000 years of Chinese culture.”

Dr. Kim Barrows, a women’s and family medicine physician with Mercy Health, was excited to see Chinese dance. “We are Irish in background, so we see a lot of Irish dance. It was just neat, something different. I like the stories. Just learning the history of China.”

Shen Yun’s mission is to revive a culture which was almost completely destroyed by the policies of the communist regime. Through the storytelling dance and music these stories and associated wisdom, morals and values, and history of China are that captivated Mrs. Barrows.

“It was just interesting to see the belief in heaven, demons, and different things like that. I didn’t know there was much belief in the supernatural because most of what you hear nowdays is about communism which tends to be atheistic. So, kind of surprised by that.”

Compassion, honesty and integrity have a place anywhere and they would make the world a better place.
— Dr. Kim Barrows
“The values that they mentioned … compassion, honesty and integrity have a place anywhere and they would make the world a better place. I hope that they can bring that culture back.” “

Dr. Kim Barrows resonated with much of the lyrics of the solo vocalists, particularly that our main goal in life is getting to heaven, not status and wealth.

She would definitely recommend Shen Yun to others. “It’s nice how you can follow the different stories, even though you … don’t know the stories growing up and hearing the story as a little kid, but you could still follow it.”

Reporting by Valerie Avore and Cat Rooney

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

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