Professor Finds Shen Yun ‘Restful and Beautiful’

January 8, 2015

BERKELEY, Calif.—Stephen Tobriner, professor emeritus of architectural history at the University of Berkeley, Calif., enjoyed Shen Yun’s performance at the Berkeley Zellerbach Hall on Tuesday, Jan. 6.

“I would describe it as restful and beautiful,” said Dr. Tobriner of the performance. “It’s fun, it’s relaxing.”

Shen Yun Performing Arts is a New York-based performing arts company that was established in 2006. The company’s mission is to revive the 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture that was destroyed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) during the ’60s.

It does this through classical Chinese dance and music, with each show consisting of several dance pieces portraying a bit of Chinese history or culture.

“I think it’s well done,” said Dr. Tobriner of the dancing. Classical Chinese dance has been developed over the millennia of China’s past, as the Shen Yun website explains: “Classical Chinese dance has a long history of thousands of years, passed down continuously within the imperial palace and ancient Chinese theater and opera. Soaking up profound wisdom from every era and dynasty, it has become a complete system of dance embodying traditional aesthetic principles with its unique dance movements, rhythms, and inner meaning.”

The dance pieces are not restricted to China’s past, however. Some of the dances depict China’s current persecution of Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong), a meditation practice based on truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance.

“I understand Falun Gong’s philosophy a little bit and I think it’s well represented. I think it has a nice quality to it,” said the professor.

“I like the show,” said Dr. Tobriner. “It’s lovely.”

Reporting by Gary Wang and Kristina Skorbach

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