Bringing a Promise of Spring, Shen Yun Performing Arts Returns to Chicago

March 3, 2015 Updated: March 3, 2015

CHICAGO—Ushering in the promise of spring, Shen Yun Performing Arts continues on its Midwest tour, returning to the historic and elegant Cadillac Palace Theater, March 6-8.

Greeted with standing ovations and high praise on its global tour, Shen Yun will bring its exquisite depiction of traditional Chinese culture and values to the Midwest’s most prominent city, Chicago.

Dr. K Francis Barksdale couldn't control her enthusiasm during Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Aronoff Center for the Arts on Feb. 28, 2015. (Nancy Ma/Epoch Times)
Dr. K Francis Barksdale couldn’t control her enthusiasm during Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Aronoff Center for the Arts on Feb. 28, 2015. (Nancy Ma/Epoch Times)

“Yes!” shouted Dr. K. Francis Barksdale who couldn’t control her enthusiasm during the Cincinnati performance of Shen Yun Performing Arts.

“Every year, I have seen this performance, it’s something more spectacular than before,” she said after the performance at the Aronoff Center for the Arts on Feb. 28.

“I’ve never seen any show as beautiful as this show that I have seen tonight!” exclaimed Cincinnati’s renowned gospel singer.

Dr. Barksdale makes sure she sees New York-based Shen Yun every time the traditional Chinese music and dance company comes to Cincinnati. She so wanted to see the performance that she canceled her own show for the evening so that she could attend. “I was so excited; that’s why I came!” she said.

‘Thanks for the great performance!’

After attending the show in Cincinnati Mr. Ray Markley had a special message for Shen Yun’s artists: “Thanks for the great performance!”

With Mr. Markley were his wife, Catherine, and daughter, Mary, who greatly enjoyed Shen Yun’s storytelling dance and music recalling 5,000 years of divinely inspired traditional Chinese culture.

Mary Markley noted that Shen Yun is much more than just a performing arts show.

“China was once known as Shen Zhou, The Divine Land. This profound name describes a land where deities and mortals coexisted, and a belief that the divine transmitted a rich culture to the people of the earth,” states the company’s website.

The mission of Shen Yun is to revitalize this glorious culture and its associated wisdom, values, and morals. This culture was almost completely destroyed due to the more than 60 years of communist rule.

“I agree very much! It was beautiful because of what it represented,” she said.

“A great performance, … and a great message,” said Mr. Markley.

Mrs. Markley was moved by, “the graceful flow of the music—The physical performance all just flowing together, and my eyes couldn’t keep up with the beauty that they displayed.”

‘Compassionate and Moving’

“I thought it was phenomenal,” said Rose Wentworth. “I thought it was compassionate and moving, and sensitive, and positively dynamic. The colors, the women, so delicate in their movements. The men were just marvelous with their athleticism. I would come and see it again. I thought it was lovely. I’ve never been before, and this was very, very special. I thought it was also emotionally moving right from the very beginning.”

Having traveled to China several times, Mrs. Wentworth was especially interested in seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts. The minister and her husband joined the enthusiastic audience on Saturday, Feb., 14 at the DeVos Performance Hall in Grand Rapids.

“Throughout history almost every culture looked toward the divine for inspiration. Art was meant to uplift, bringing joy to both the people who created and experienced it. It is this principle that drives Shen Yun performers and their art,” according to the company’s website.

As evangelical ministers, the couple were deeply moved by the spirituality they saw in the performances.

Mrs. Wentworth said, “You can’t help but miss that compassion. It is there. It is throughout the entire performance.”

Mr. Wentworth said, “What touched me was the people. The tenderness, and it comes through in this performance, of the heart of the people … the heart is still there … the heart of the people still has that tenderness, and it comes through in this performance, to bring that out is that no matter how evil some things are, the good comes through. And that’s good.”

With reporting by Jeanmarie Lunsford

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