Shen Yun is ‘Quite a Treat’

February 19, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS—Jerry and Ilona Burlingame are usually the one’s providing quality comfort and care to others, but on Feb. 19 when they saw Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Orpheum Theatre, they were the ones being taken care of.

Mr. and Mrs Burlingame are the owners and founders of Marshfield Senior Services Inc., a small company that specializes in providing senior citizens with non-medical home care.

Their children treated them to the entire evening which included tickets to the Shen Yun performance, dinner, and a hotel for the night. The couple was very grateful.

Mr. Burlingame said he’d tell his kids to “take it in when you get the chance, it’s a great opportunity.”

Shen Yun Performing Arts puts on a whole new production each season touring some 30 countries and more than 100 cities.

“Through the universal language of music and dance, Shen Yun weaves a wondrous tapestry of heavenly realms, ancient legends, and modern heroic tales, taking you on a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese culture,” the company’s website states.

The opening was just stunning.
— Ilona Burlingame

Mrs. Burlingame said the show is really great. “The opening was just stunning, the color, everything, and we are really enjoying it. This is quite a treat,” she said.

Mr. Burlingame really enjoyed the choreography, the gracefulness of the dancers on stage, and the overall performance. He said he believes the company is fulfilling its mission to take the audience on a journey through Chinese history, in an entertaining way.

Since the communist regime seized control in 1949, it has waged a systematic war on the beliefs and customs of traditional Chinese culture. This has taken a serious toll on spiritual practices, as well as various forms of artistic expression.

Mrs. Burlingame was disheartened by the fact that Shen Yun can’t be seen in China. “We are blessed to be able to come here and see this you know. It looks like things haven’t really changed in China.”

She mentioned how, through the performance, she was reminded of the freedoms we enjoy in the United States in contrast to the lack of certain freedoms in China.

“People should maybe look within themselves and check out their spirituality and rely more on the spiritual nature than the human nature,” Mr. Burlingame said. He thinks that if more people did this, there would be more peace, love, and mutual understanding in the world.

Radiologist Rick Castaneda (R) took his mother (C) to Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Orpheum Theatre, on Feb.19, 2016. (Valerie Avore/Epoch Times)
Radiologist Rick Castaneda (R) took his mother (C) to Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Orpheum Theatre, on Feb.19, 2016. (Valerie Avore/Epoch Times)

Dr. Castaneda and his mother, Sylvia, also attended the evening performance on Feb. 19.

A radiologist, Rick Castaneda thought the performance was wonderful. “It’s a great experience to have something different from what we are used to here,” he said.

He commented on the expressiveness of the dancers. “I could feel the expressions, see the expressions … and the dancing was so exact.”

Having been to China and having seen a couple of shows there, Dr. Castaneda found Shen Yun to be an entirely different experience.

What set it apart for him was the fact that one gets to see the spirituality of the culture.

For Dr. Castaneda, this was especially true with the vocalists and their song lyrics.

Pertaining to this aspect of Chinese culture, he said, “it’s not expressed in China compared to the show that we are seeing here.”

Reporting by Valerie Avore and Andrew Darin

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

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.