Retired Deputy Director Says Shen Yun Is Spectacular

January 18, 2015 Updated: January 18, 2015

INDIANAPOLIS–”My impression was it was spectacular,” said Phil Goodard about the Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company performance at the Clowes Memorial Hall of Butler University, on Jan. 17. “The dancing and music, both, were beyond words,” he said.

Mr. Goodard, a retired deputy director and chief council for Indiana Department of Financial Institutions for 32 years, also said: “I enjoyed it—the costumes—the whole thing.”

His daughter, Christina McElwee, concurred. “It was spectacular, from the orchestra to the costumes, to the pageantry of the dance.”

“It was so impressive, beautiful, and meaningful,” said Ms. McElwee, who works in civil society as a chief communications officer for Kwanis International.

Shen Yun was formed in 2006 to revive traditional Chinese culture which had almost been destroyed by the 60 years plus of communist rule in China, according the Shen Yun website. A tradition steeped in myths, legends, spirituality, and universal values.

“All of the stories portrayed and most of the music certainly had a poetry and a deeper meaning, that resonated, and was very beautiful,” said Ms. McElwee.

The beauty of the performance was also captured by “the costumes and the stories, that were portrayed from China many years ago, up through possibly what is going on today,” said Mr. Goodard.

“I’ve been to China,” Mr. Goodard explains. “I know that China is much more oppressive that this country, and I think these dancers and singers were portraying the fact that it’s much more restrictive than they would like for it to be.”

For Ms. McElwee, “I see a China of legend, mythology, and beauty. I saw a lot of stories [told by Shen Yun] still hold meaning today.

“Shen Yun told quite a story in dance and in music,” said Mr. Goodard. “It’s a beautiful production.”

Reporting by Nancy Ma and Cat Rooney

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.