Shen Yun ‘Moves My Heart,’ Says Retreat Founder

February 8, 2014

DETROIT—Shen Yun Performing Arts’ portrayal of China’s ancient culture and values resonated with Brenda Morgan on a deep level after she saw the performance Saturday afternoon at the Detroit Opera House.

“I’m stunned with the beauty of the combination of the dance, with new media in the background, with the costume designs, with the unique music—all of it—making a combination of something I haven’t seen before,” she said.

“It actually creates a mood, a feeling of what the experience is, which is unusual—what the moment is for the people, and has been even 5,000 years ago. It transcends time. It’s very, very lovely.”

Ms. Morgan has a doctorate in counseling and rehabilitation and runs retreats at Grass Lake Sanctuary in Ann Arbor, which she founded. During the past 15 years she has also served as a meditation teacher and mentor.

New York-based Shen Yun takes stories and legends from China’s 5,000-year history and presents them to audiences through music and dance—both ethnic and folk dances as well as classical Chinese dance, one of the richest and most expressive art forms in the world.

Ms. Morgan said there were times during the performance when she was moved to tears.

“At times I would tear up because [the performance showed that] life is more than what you see in front of you and the sharing of the sense that we are all one and that we have various journeys here, sometimes confusing, sometimes fine. It’s touching and I hope it helps humanity to come together more as one. It’s beautiful,” she said.

Shen Yun portrays principles from Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism, such as justice, propriety, wisdom, and respect for the divine—values that are the essence of traditional Chinese culture, according to its website.

Ms. Morgan said she wasn’t aware of the spirituality inherent in Chinese culture.

”I did not know that. I mean I had a sense of a little bit from some books, but to see it performed this way moves my heart, moves my heart,” she said.

“[Spirituality is] what my life’s about, so it’s wondrous, wondrous, and they were able to transmit it through the things that they were doing and the sets and the music. The music was highly touching and that’s all original work from what I was seeing. It’s beautiful.”

The Shen Yun Orchestra is unique in that it combines Chinese and Western instruments.

“It’s stunning because it’s like taking two languages and putting them together and it becomes one, becomes one new language together,” said Ms. Morgan

She concluded by saying that she would tell her friends about Shen Yun.

”[I will tell them that] they need to come see it for a variety of reasons: for its beauty, it’s history, making them aware of cultural sameness and differences at the same time. They’ll be touched by it.”

Reporting by Teresa You and Joan Delaney

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