‘I don’t even blink, there is so much to see’ in Shen Yun

By Cat Rooney, Epoch Times
February 12, 2015 11:36 pm Last Updated: February 13, 2015 6:22 am

CLEVELAND—”It’s filled with beauty, precision, elegance, dance,” said Don Braun, a computer engineer with NASA at Glenn Research Center. “It’s just amazing to behold.”

Mr. Braun was describing Shen Yun Performing Arts’s evening performance at State Theatre on Feb. 11.

Shen Yun is more than two hours of music and dance. Depicting 5,000 years of divinely inspired, traditional culture, the program presents beloved legends, myths, characters, and modern stories of courage. It is a one-of-a-kind experience say theatergoers.

“It’s amazing. I am thoroughly enjoying it,” said his wife, Leonie, a nurse practitioner for Nurse Family Partnership.

Mr. Braun was impressed with the dedication of the performers in thinking about how much work and practice it must take to become the world’s foremost dancers in classical Chinese dance. Mrs. Braun agreed saying there was so much talent and energy.

I want to go up and dance.
— Leonie
She felt uplifted and exhilarated by Shen Yun. “I want to go up and dance.”

Ms. Braun became energized by what she saw on stage even after working late the night before and getting little sleep. “I don’t even blink, there is so much to see. There is so much change, too, in the scenery. It’s really wonderful.”

The scenery changes in each of the 20-mini music and dance dramas and is created by state-of-the-arts digital animation.

Don and Leonie Braun thoroughly enjoyed Shen Yun at the State Theatre on Feb. 11 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Cat Rooney/Epoch Times)
Don and Leonie Braun thoroughly enjoyed Shen Yun at the State Theatre on Feb. 11 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Cat Rooney/Epoch Times)

Storytelling through dance and music are at the heart of Shen Yun, particularly classical Chinese, ethnic, and folk dance. Original orchestral music played by classical instruments of both East and West accompanies the dancing.

“The dancers are just amazing,” she said, mentioning as well, “the choreography, the different beautiful colors, and also the variety of the ethnic dances within the regions of China.”

Shen Yun’s mission is to restore traditional Chinese culture, a culture almost completely destroyed by the communist party regime.

“I think it is great,” said Mr. Braun, referring to this mission. “All different cultures need to be appreciated, and they should be given the freedom. It is unfortunate that this can’t be done in China itself.”

Not only was traditional culture destroyed, but Shen Yun is not allowed to perform in China.

“It’s moving because it makes us aware of the challenges that some people face that live in China because of the policies of the government.”

Mrs. Braun added that “It’s a shame that they cannot be free to enjoy their culture.”

“We have freedom here. I am Indian (from India), and if I want to celebrate an Indian holiday or whatever, I am free to do that. It is a basic right, the freedom to do what you want to do.”

The Braun’s saw the last performance in Cleveland for the 2015 worldwide tour of Shen Yun.

Cleveland was the fifth stop out of seventeen for Shen Yun in it’s Midwest portion of the global tour. Grand Rapids, Mich., Minneapolis, Minn., and Davenport, Iowa, are the next Midwest cities the company will visit.

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

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