Shen Yun ‘Mesmerizing’ Says Art Historian

January 23, 2015

HOLLYWOOD, Calif.—Shen Yun Performing Arts World Company gave a stunning opening performance for its Southern California tour at the Dolby Theatre, formerly the Kodak Theatre, on Jan. 22.

Art historian and UCLA Professor Emeritus David Kunzle and his wife Marjorie, a yoga teacher, were fascinated by the artistry of the performance.

“It’s mesmerizing,” said Mr. Kunzle. “I come away with so much color and movement.”

Shen Yun was founded in 2006 in New York by a group of leading classical Chinese artists who shared a wish: to revive 5,000 years of the true, divinely inspired culture of China through music and dance and bring it to the world. Now, the nonprofit organization has become a world phenomenon, touring the world with an all-new production every year.

Shen Yun’s artists include the world’s foremost classically trained dancers and a live, full orchestra that blends Western and Eastern instruments into a unique sound.

Mr. Kunzle commented on the dancers’ gorgeous costumes, which are handmade for each season. He noticed how the long, draped costumes seemed to flow as part of the dance movements themselves.

Throughout Shen Yun’s performance, Mrs. Kunzle felt a theme of a spiritual undercurrent of humanity, including virtues such as truth and compassion. She was reminded that humanity was not alone, and she said that was very nice to see.

“It’s very classical and unusual in our world now for entertainment to be bringing, well, the idea of truth and compassion,” she said.

“I can hardly believe that meditation [Falun Dafa] is forbidden in China,” said Mr. Kunzle. “How can you just stop somebody just sitting in a park and being silent?”

Mr. Kunzle served on the faculty of the UCLA Department of Art History from 1976 to 2009. He has written numerous articles and books on various popular, political, and public art, such as murals, comic strips, fashion, and the revolutionary art of Latin America.

Reporting by Albert Roman and Sarah Le

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.