Memphis Audience Found Shen Yun Extraordinary

March 8, 2012 Updated: March 19, 2012
Epoch Times Photo
Fred Hodges and his wife, Charlotte Hodges attend Shen Yun Performing Arts Cannon Center for the Performing Arts, on March 6. (Yang Chen/The Epoch Times)

MEMPHIS, Tenn.—Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company graced the stage of Cannon Center for the Performing Arts on March 6.

New York-based Shen Yun displays 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture through classical Chinese dance and music.

Fred Hodges, co-founder and chairman of Consulting Services Group, LLC (CSG), and his wife, Charlotte Hodges, a retired English teacher each said they thought the performance was extraordinary.

“A performance by Shen Yun is a presentation of traditional Chinese culture as it once was: a study in grace, wisdom, and the virtues distilled from the five millennia of Chinese civilization,” according to Shen Yun’s website.

Mrs. Hodges said, “It was absolutely marvelous, spectacular.”

“The beautiful costumes and dresses and the ability of the dancers was just marvelous,” said Mr. Hodges.

Mr. Hodges was particularly impressed with the richness, beauty and variety in the performance. “It’s not only the dancing, but the wonderful singers and the music and just the beauty. It was just a wonderful family show,” said Mr. Hodges.

Mrs. Hodges said, “Everybody moved as one person” and that she was awed by “how beautiful” traditional Chinese culture is.

Traditional Chinese culture values virtue. According to Shen Yun’s website, “Principles such as benevolence and justice, propriety and wisdom, respect for the heavens, and divine retribution, all come to life, washing over the audience.”

Mrs. Hodges said she was touched by the lyrics in the vocal solos. “I loved it. I thought it was beautiful and wonderful,” said Mrs. Hodges.

‘Very Talented’ Performers

Epoch Times Photo
Lee Maddox brought his mother, Janice Joyner, to Shen Yun Performing Arts in Memphis. (Mary Silver/The Epoch Times)

Lee Maddox, a financial adviser, brought his mother, Janice Joyner, to see Shen Yun. “I told him I wanted to go,” said Mrs. Joyner.

Mr. Maddox said, “Oh it was very good. They are obviously very, very talented,” and that he learned more than he expected about Chinese culture.

Mr. Maddox particularly enjoyed How the Monkey King Came to Be. “That was fun,” he said.”

He also felt he learned something he did not know about the current situation in China. “But the strife that they are still under, I did not know that so it was very interesting,” said Mr. Maddox.

Shen Yun’s mission is to revive the 5,000 years of true Chinese culture. The communist regime has sought to destroy the essence and values of Chinese culture through various movements such as the
Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). Currently Shen Yun is unable to perform in China due to the
communist regime in the country.

His mother said she found the dance called Lotus Leaves touching and was particularly moved when she saw a “big flower” on the projected backdrop in Flower Fairies. “That was gorgeous, that was beautiful,” she said.

The digital projections “are magical windows to completely different realms,” according to Shen Yun’s website.

Over all, Mrs. Joyner felt “It was very good, a lot of talented people.”

Reporting by Selena Chen, Mary Silver, and Kelly Ni.

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world.

For more information, please visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.