Chief DOT Counsel Calls Shen Yun ‘Remarkable’

March 26, 2012 Updated: October 1, 2015
Epoch Times Photo
Hazardous Materials Safety Administration at U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), attends the Sunday performance. (Yang Chen/The Epoch Times)

WASHINGTON—Shen Yun Performing Arts’ portrayal of the vast history of China along with its wealth of stories and history enthused audience members who saw it at the Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington D.C. on Sunday, March 25.

Vanessa Allen Sutherland, the Chief Counsel with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration at U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), attended the performance, and said it “is remarkable.”

Mrs. Allen said she “loved the costumes, the choreography, and I love the Chinese story-telling that’s woven into the performances,” adding that the performance “mesmerized” her.

Shen Yun has said that it aims to bring back the 5,000-year-old culture of China, using performing arts and music as its main mediums of expression.

“This is a great opportunity to see a different type of music … it is wonderful for me,” she said.

While classical Chinese dance is the focal point in each performance, Shen Yun has a unique orchestra that joins together Western and Chinese instruments that plays along with each piece, the company’s website states.

And each of Shen Yun’s pieces generally have a message or a story that goes along with it, the company states.

“I really very much appreciated the fact that the stories have a lesson, but they’re fun and their meaningful and their passionate,” Mrs. Sutherland said.

She added, “I love the fact that there is a message and a spiritual grounding in these stories … It is really remarkable.”

The company seeks to take historical stories and legends passed down during China’s long history, which displays the virtues, grace, and wisdom contained within them, the company says. With each year, the company presents an entirely new set of dances and stories.

“I do think the message is very up-lifting and you can’t go to the performance like this and not feel great appreciation” for it, Mrs. Sutherland said. “Not just the culture, but for all humanity.”

One could walk into the performance and be uplifted by not just having seen it, “but to able to take messages out to the real world that you can live” by, she added.

Bringing her two-year-old daughter with her, Mrs. Sutherland said “she loves it.” Her daughter “loves the languages, and the music, dances and the costumes and the stories, so it’s been really great to bring her here and to share with her the Chinese history,” she said.

With reporting by Yang Chen and Jack Phillips.

Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, tours the world on a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company will perform at The Kennedy Center Opera House, Washington, D.C., through April 1.

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