Judge Happy That Shen Yun Adds Cultural Richness to New Orleans

February 19, 2014 Updated: February 20, 2014

NEW ORLEANS—New Orleans opened its embracing cultural arms to a very different experience as Shen Yun Performing Arts made its first ever performance in New Orleans, on Feb. 18, at the Saenger Theatre.

“New Orleans needs it,” said Judge Sol Gothard, who attended the classical Chinese dance and music performance.

“Through the universal language of music and dance, Shen Yun weaves a wondrous tapestry of heavenly realms, ancient legends, and modern heroic tales,” according to the company’s website.

“We see a lot of theatre here, but of course, this is quite different from anything that we have seen before,” Judge Gothard said.

This year the judge was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Organization of Forensic Social Work.

The judge and his wife have been to China several times and seen performances there, “but this was different—telling the story of the culture, telling the history,” he said.

He also explained that he was familiar with the repression of people of faith in China, and he thought it was “good to inform the American public that this is going on.”

Some of the story-based dances that Shen Yun presents tell of courage exhibited by Falun Gong practitioners, a group persecuted by the communist regime since 1999. The practice of Falun Gong adheres to the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.

The judge felt the program itself was highly creative and different—especially its special effects. Shen Yun is known for its digitally-animated backdrops that allow the dancers to interact with their settings.

All in all, Judge Gothard felt that Shen Yun was an important addition to New Orleans: “This is a very cultural community here and there are many diverse groups in New Orleans. It is famous for that with our French background and welcoming of all different groups.

“So seeing this very unique ethnic performance is a wonderful experience, to see it in New Orleans.”

Reporting by NTD Television and Sharon Kilarski

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

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.