Chief Executive: Shen Yun ‘A beautiful string through a story’

January 11, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO—”It was spectacular!” said Charles Bates, a chief executive for an insurance broker, when he saw Shen Yun Performing Arts at San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House on Jan. 8 for the first time.

Mr. Bates experienced Shen Yun as a gift from his mother, but she was unable to attend herself. He had committed to memory every vision and sound so he could take it back and share the experience with her.

“We came to tell her the story,” he said. “She paid for our tickets so we could tell her the story…It’s going to be a great one.”

Emcees introduce each performance adding depth to the audience experience. Mr. Bates appreciated the information.

“It was spectacular!”
— Charles Bates

“I love how they break it up and tell the whole story about every dance. The tradition and how old it is, thousands of years old these moves are. It is remarkable,” he said.

Shen Yun is based in New York and has classical Chinese dance at its heart but also incorporates folk and ethnic dance.

According to Shen Yun’s website, “Classical Chinese dance is rich with expressive power. Through expression of bearing and form, beautiful dance movements bring out the inner meaning of intrinsic thoughts and feelings, reflecting the peculiarities of human nature, the standard for human conduct, moral concepts, mental state, one’s value system, and so on.”

Mr. Bates was moved by the expression of the dancers. “The flow of the hands and the ladies…dancing with their ribbons. It all kind of flows very naturally, like the wind blowing through the stage,” he said. “It’s beautiful.”

State of the art digital backdrops are a unique feature of Shen Yun. Mr. Bates commented, “I’ve never seen that before, and it brings a whole other dimension to the show,” he said. “I like it; it helps you with your imagination.”

The blended orchestra of traditional Chinese and classical Western instruments play original scores.

“They’re very fortunate to have such a great orchestra to play such beautiful music,” he said.

“It just all blends very nicely together; nothing is out of sequence. Everything…flows nicely together, like a beautiful string through a story, and lovely stories.”

With reporting by Gary Wang and Leigh Smith

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.