Detroit’s Diverse Audience Delights in Shen Yun’s Dramatic Depth

February 9, 2014

DETROIT—The Detroit Opera House hosted world-renowned Shen Yun Performing Arts on Saturday, and attracted a diverse audience comprised of professionals and artists alike.

Ronald Greve, co-founder and partner of law firm Dinning & Greve, attended the Feb. 8 matinee performance with wife Delia Greve, artist and art teacher Eva Leventer, and her husband attorney Jamison Brewer.

Each individual found a different aspect of Shen Yun to appreciate.

“It was very interesting,” said Mr. Greve, who specializes in wills and estate planning. “The costumes are very colorful and they’re a talented group.”

Ms. Leventer, a painter and art teacher at Detroit’s Most Holy Trinity School, said the dancers were extremely well coordinated and perfectly timed.

“It’s fantastic—they’re timing is very exact and they’re very talented. I haven’t seen a performance where the dancers were so cohesive, so together, so punctual,” she said.

Shen Yun’s mission is to revive 5,000 years of divinely inspired culture through the performing arts. Using story-based classical Chinese dance, folk dance, and live orchestral music, the company brings the core essence of the culture to life—often with a moral lesson or message.

Philippines-born, Ms. Greve, a former curriculum director for online learning at a public school, said the traditional culture and its virtuous teachings were both moving and important.

“I like the old China. It’s beautiful—the literature, the culture—its really good for the young people to know it,” she said.

One story-dance in Shen Yun, titled When Play Turns to Panic, tells of an aspiring scholar who constantly gets distracted from his studies. When he causes an accident while slacking off and disaster ensues, the boy receives a painful lesson in focus and common sense.

“It’s really interesting and the history is very interesting as well,” said Ms. Leventer.

The stories and musical instruments—including traditional Chinese instruments such as the pipa and Chinese lute—had a magical “mythical” quality, she added.

Shen Yun also features operatic soloists who sing bel canto style in Chinese lyrics—one of the most difficult singing styles to master in the world. Original Shen Yun compositions, each song contains reflections on the origin and meaning of life, says the Shen Yun website.

Mr. Greve said he could relate to the spiritual tone of the songs.

“I could understand where they are coming from,” he said.

Ms. Leventer agreed: “I’m a very spiritual person, and I relate to them as a part of life and a part of the [human] struggle,” she said. “I feel empowered by them.”

Mr. Brewer, a family attorney who specializes in helping victims and survivors of intimate partner violence and sexual assault, said the lyrics were written beautifully.

“It’s good poetry. I liked them,” he said.

Reporting by Charlie Lu and Justina Wheale

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s World Company will perform in Detroit until Feb. 9. For more information, visit:

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.

Detroit, United States
Shen Yun World Company