Shen Yun ‘Mesmerizing, Beautiful,’ Says Helicopter Pilot

February 10, 2014

DETROIT—“I’m down quite a bit in Detroit, but usually I’m up in the air,” said farm owner and pilot Mary Emmett, who takes photographers on helicopter flights.

This time, however, she was on the ground long enough to take in Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Detroit Opera House on on Feb. 9 with her young friend Wyatt, age 7. She thought Wyatt would like Shen Yun since he is taking karate lessons, and she was right.

“It inspired him. I told him there would be dancing. I think he really enjoyed it,” said Ms. Emmett, who owns an orchard and cider mill that employs around 49 people.

She, too, was thrilled with the show. She particularly liked Mongolian Chopsticks and Lotuses in Bloom, a piece extolling the virtues of the lotus that involves long silken fans.

“I loved the chopsticks [dance],” she said. “I sorta got lost in the lotus dance with all the flags and flowers. It was just mesmerizing, beautiful.”

At the heart of Shen Yun is classical Chinese dance, a distinct and separate dance system passed down for thousands of years and sharing a common ancestry with martial arts, states the company’s website.

Each Shen Yun performance includes about 20 presentations of music and dance, some depicting stories from China’s past and present. According to the website, each story or song expresses cherished virtues of traditional Chinese culture, and has a message or moral to teach.

Ms. Emmett also enjoyed the original music and the unique blend of Chinese and Western instruments in the Shen Yun Orchestra.

“Just beautiful,” she said.

Shen Yun tours the world each season showcasing the authentic traditional Chinese culture, which was almost completely destroyed under communist rule, particularly during the Cultural Revolution. Being based in New York, Shen Yun has the freedom to express this culture to its fullest through the performing arts.

“I knew that the Cultural Revolution in China changed the country but I didn’t realize the depth that it cut into the culture,” Ms. Emmett said.

She concluded by saying she would tell her friends about the performance.

“It was mesmerizing. It was well done. There’s nothing to complain about—it was wonderful!”

Reporting by Valerie Avore and Cat Rooney

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.

Detroit, United States
Shen Yun World Company