Shen Yun a Special Birthday Treat

February 12, 2015 Updated: February 12, 2015

LANSING, Mich.—Wednesday, Feb. 11 was a special night for Mr. George Barnett and his family. To celebrate their son’s birthday, the business owner and his wife Annette drove all the way from Macomb, an hour and a half drive.

“It was amazing!” said Mr. Barnett after attending Shen Yun Performing Arts’s Lansing debut. The company performed at the Wharton Center for Performing Arts located on Michigan State University’s campus.

“It was amazing. The solos were amazing. The choreography was amazing. The costumes!” said Mr. Barnett.

“It was absolutely gorgeous!” agreed Annette Barnett. Having figure skated at the competitive level for years, the gold medalist with the United States Figure Skating Association was amazed by Shen Yun and said, “The perfection that was in the dances was just phenomenal. I believe it’s because [Chinese] culture was the first one to have all the dances.”

Some of Shen Yun’s classical Chinese dances tell of ancients legends, others take place in modern day China. These are about Falun Dafa, a meditation practice that emphasizes truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance.

The couple was moved by the deeper, spiritual elements they saw in the performances. Annette said, “The part in China, they can’t study or teach Dafa. That’s sad. … To me, that is very sad.”

“For 5,000 years divine culture flourished in the land of China. Humanity’s treasure was nearly lost, but through breathtaking music and dance, Shen Yun is bringing back this glorious culture,” according to the company’s website.

Mrs. Barnett explained that their son Joseph “is just enthralled with the Chinese culture. He wants to go to China. This was his birthday. This was the birthday present he wanted so badly. He was amazed to watch them, and it was amazing watching his face watching them. And for him to be able to come here and see the story,… the history, done through song and dance, that was beautiful.”

Supported by an orchestra that uniquely blends Chinese and Western instruments, Shen Yun showcases folk and ethnic dances that present China’s rich diversity.

Mrs. Barnett said watching Shen Yun gave her, “a deep respect for China’s history and culture that was already there” but which was new to them.

Mr. Barnett said the show gave him a deeper insight as well, “There was a story in each segment. I didn’t know how much there was [to China]. It was amazing.”

Reporting by Ying Wan and Jeanmarie Lunsford

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

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