Physicist: Shen Yun Helps Western World Appreciate China

February 26, 2014 Updated: March 1, 2014

DAYTON, Ohio—“The idea of making the people of the United States and Europe more cognizant and aware of the deep culture of China and the contributions that have been made in China is very admirable, I think. Let’s put it this way: Who would not be in favor of that?” said John Maguire, after watching Shen Yun Performing Arts at Dayton’s Mead Theatre.

Mr. Maguire feels that China’s contributions have not been well recognized in Western Europe and the United States, and so, “the arts are an excellent vehicle for cross fertilizing cultures.”

Shen Yun has just this purpose in mind. The New York-based company aims to present “a sea of traditional Chinese culture” to the world, 5,000 years of culture, according to Shen Yun’s website.

At the heart of Shen Yun is classical Chinese dance, an excellent vehicle to present the myths, legends, literary classics, and actual history from China’s rich civilization.

“It’s very refreshing, exceedingly well choreographed,” said Mr. Maguire, a condensed matter physicist, attending with his wife, Maureen, on Feb. 25.

He enjoyed the technically challenging aspects of classical Chinese dance, its leaps, spins and flips, as did his wife.

“I feel exactly the same, very colorful, extremely energetic, really enjoyable, very well choreographed and the timing is spectacular, the timing of the dancers,” Mrs. Maguire said.

“The combination of the cinematography and dance is very unique,” said Mr. Maguire, referring to the digitally-animated backdrop which is synchronized so that figures that appear seem to come to life as performers onstage.

“I also wanted to say the combination of being in the graphics in the back is spectacular, you know, with the dancers, I have not seen that before,” Mrs. Maguire said.

Interspersed among the dance pieces are vocal solos. Mr. Maguire felt the sopranos were excellent, saying that the lyrics were “universal and uplifting. There is a spiritual element to the lyrics,” he said.

“There’s a philosophical element, and I think they were well chosen to resonate fairly strongly with an American audience,” he said.

Mr. Maguire has worked at UCLA, the University of Amsterdam, and also at General Electric and the Southwest Research Institute. He have recently retired from the Air Force Research Laboratory in Dayton, and now owns Scientific Simulation Systems, which produces high performance computers with proprietary software.

He was going to tell his friends “that they missed an excellent show!”

Reporting by Joan Wang 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.