Shen Yun: Not Something You See Everyday

February 7, 2015 Updated: February 7, 2015

DETROIT—”Absolutely gorgeous,” said Trisha Vanwormer about Shen Yun’s artistry, after seeing the evening performance of Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company on Feb. 5, in Motor City.

Ms. Vanwormer, general manager of a Banana Republic store, attended this evening’s performance at the Detroit Opera House with Joe Windhorst, a drug treatment program director of Visionquest.

Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company is one of four dance and music companies that the New York-based company has. The four travel the globe simultaneously, bringing this world-class ensemble to more than 100 cities each year.

Detroit is the fourth city in Shen Yun’s return to the Midwest this season. After completing its five performances here, it will move on to Cleveland, Ohio.

Ms. Vanwormer enjoyed it a lot because it was fun, interesting, and not something one sees every day.

Shen Yun sets itself apart from other performing arts programs because at its core is classical Chinese dance. It couples this with intricately handmade costumes, digitally interactive backdrops, and an orchestra that blends Eastern and Western instruments together giving it a unique sound.

Utilizing these implements, Shen Yun has set out to restore traditional Chinese culture—its customs and traditions that have been lost or forgotten due to more than 60 years of rule under a suppressive, Communist regime.

Mr. Windhorst said he enjoyed it quite a bit. He was particularly interested that, during the performance, this idea of Communist suppression was touched upon.

He said, “You know, these are ancient customs and ancient Chinese beliefs systems, and now they are not being allowed to [practice them]. They talked about not being allowed to practice meditation in China anymore. It just seems like there is a lot of freedom being taken away when they do that.”

Because of the atheist ideology of the communist regime, a huge part of China’s traditional culture that has been brought to the brink of extinction there is its spiritual or religious roots.

“I liked how a couple of times it said: ‘The Great Way, the Tao,’ and I thought that was interesting,” Ms. Vanwormer said. She didn’t realize the ancient Chinese believed in heaven or in divine creation.

“I do believe that connecting to something bigger than ourselves, and bringing the heaven and earth and bringing all of its creatures together as one, that’s what the unity is all about,” Ms. Vanwormer said, being a spiritual person herself who practices meditation.

As for the overall artistic quality of the performance, Ms. Vanwormer stated, “It was gorgeous—I mean gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous… It’s just something you don’t see everyday.”

Mr. Windhorst was taken aback by the synchronicity of it all. “It was amazing to me how the timing, how everything, you know the orchestra had to line up with the dancers, and the dancers lined up with the video streaming,” he said.

Reporting by Charlie Lu and Andrew Darin

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