Shen Yun: ‘I was transformed,’ Says Retired Advertising Executive

February 6, 2014

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—“People had told me that it was really wonderful, said Ray Stanbro, referring to his experience of New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts. “I came in with very high expectations and it exceeded what I had expected.”

Mr. Stanbro, a retired advertising executive, was accompanied to the performance by his wife, Karen, and friends, Steve and Maria Zanca. The whole group left the Mahaffey Theater enthusiastic not only about Shen Yun’s stage performance, but also about Shen Yun’s messages and their inspiration.

“It works on every level,” Mr Stanbro said of the performance. “The staging, the choreography—the orchestra is world-class.”

With each performance, Shen Yun speaks visually to the audience through the forms of classical Chinese dance, folk and ethic dance, and story-based dance. As the dancers grace the stage, the Shen Yun Orchestra masterfully blends the classical music traditions of East and West for its listeners, creating a dramatic new sound.

Mr. Stanbro’s friend, Mr. Zanca, was moved by Shen Yun’s message. In particular, he was saddened to hear about the human rights violations in China—that people are not allowed to practice their own faiths openly.

After 60 years of the ruling communist regime destroying China’s traditional values, Shen Yun is reviving this 5,000 year-old traditional culture.

“It’s impossible if you have any appreciation for a heart or culture, or just people in general, not to be transformed by this,” said Mr Stanbro. “It’s wonderful.”

According to the Shen Yun website, “throughout history almost every culture looked toward the divine for inspiration. Art was meant to uplift, bringing joy to both the people who created and experienced it. It is this principle that drives Shen Yun performers and their art.

Mr Stanbro said he recognized the spiritual beauty of the show.

“I was transformed,” he said.

Reporting by Kerry Huang and Adam Miller

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.

St. Petersburg, United States
Shen Yun New York Company