Company President Connects with Shen Yun Songs

NEW YORK—Ted Petrone, president of the Navios Corporation, who saw Shen Yun Performing Arts at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater on Friday, said he connected with the all-original compositions in Shen Yun.

“The lyrics were a lot more spiritual than I thought,” he said. “Very interesting. I am very happy to hear that.”

Interspersed with the mini-drama dance pieces, the songs are sung by sopranos and tenors in Bel canto style in Chinese, while an English translation is projected on the digital backdrop behind the singers.

“Brimming with philosophical reflection about human life and containing deep layers of meaning, the texts go beyond the boundaries of nation, race, and culture, and have been fondly received and appreciated the world over,” explains the Shen Yun website. “Some audience members have even expressed that Shen Yun’s vocal pieces are reminiscent of sacred music, calling them ‘hymns.’”

Mr. Petrone’s company, the Navios Corporation, is one of the leading global brands in seaborne shipping, utilizing dozens of ships to transport goods.

New York-based Shen Yun tours the world with the mission of reviving the traditional, divinely inspired Chinese culture.

Mr. Petrone said that, along with the singing, the stories told through the dance pieces and the overall presentation of the 5,000-year-old culture struck him as having more depth than he thought.

“It is very hard to comprehend because, here in the [United] States, we have 200, 300 years of history,” he said. “But the Chinese culture is very deep.”

“The dancing and the songs are just beautiful,” he said.

Mr. Petrone said he appreciated the depictions of the myths and legends that often draw on spiritual themes. He particularly enjoyed the piece, “The Sand Monk is Blessed,” which tells the story of why monks at a Shaolin monastery can eat meat while most other monks cannot.

“It is an interesting door opening, for me to watch something like this,” he said.

Reporting by Hannah Cai and Zachary Stieber

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

Shen Yun Performing Arts is performing at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center through April 28.

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.