Shen Yun Brings People Closer to Chinese Culture

April 21, 2012 Updated: April 22, 2012
Richard Boyed and Sidnee Cox attend Shen Yun
Richard Boyed and Sidnee Cox attend Shen Yun Performing Arts Chicago's Civic Opera House. (Valerie Avore/The Epoch Times)

CHICAGO–It was a special evening at the Civic Opera House as Shen Yun Performing Arts International Company put on its fourth of five shows in the Windy City.

Sidnee Cox, an artist and Richard Boyed, a retired astro-physicist came out to tonight’s performance.

“It was fabulous, I’m sort of amazed by it,” Ms. Cox said. “First of all I expected it to be more just acrobatics with no theme, but it was wonderful that it told a story and that made you get closer to the Chinese culture.”

One aspect of Shen Yun that sets it apart from other shows is that it has bilingual hosts. “I like the fact that it had both the English and, was it Mandarin? and … it was really nice to have that, those two speaking together,” she said.

Ms. Cox explained, “I felt that, I really liked the grace and the power, and it make you realize that that’s all part of it, it also transcends some of the stereotypes that I have of China which is sort of a backwards country.”

Mr. Boyed said, “I felt the show was fantastic, the scenery, the costumes, the dancing. I think there were so many performances put together in such a beautiful way.”

Shen Yun, ‘I love it very much’

Ronald Smith at Shen Yun
Ronald Smith at Shen Yun Performing Arts, with 10 family members, in Chicago. (Valerie Avore/The Epoch Times)

Ronald Smith, a retired fashion store business owner was also impressed with Shen Yun. “I mean I love the colors of the scenery and the whole Chinese culture. I love it very much. That is why I decided to bring 12 people here today. I brought two friends and 10 are my family members,” Mr. Smith said.

“I think the dancing was great. The visual background was a lot of fun for everybody. Seeing the colors was very impressive,” said Mr. Smith.

Animated, hi-tech backdrops are a feature of Shen Yun that “transport the audience to another world,” says the company website.

Since 2006, Shen Yun Performing Arts company has brought together world-class talent from around the world to revive 5,000 years of divine Chinese culture.

“Five thousand years is a lot of history, a lot of history, for humankind. There are not a whole lot of other cultures that go back 5,000 years.

“It’s invaluable if you appreciate culture and history; I appreciate it, so for me it is very valuable,” Mr. Smith added.

Reporting by Valerie Avore, Andrew Darin and Maureen Zebian.

Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world, with a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. Shen Yun Performing Arts International Company will perform in Chicago through April 22.

For more information visit