Shen Yun Spectacular, Says Insurance Company VP

January 1, 2015 Updated: January 1, 2015

HOUSTON—Elegant dancers in vibrant colors, tinkling silver jewelry, and flowing silk sleeves brought Jim Hickey on a journey through China as he watched Shen Yun Performing Arts, Dec. 28, at Jones Hall for the Performing Arts.

“It’s very impressive to see the athleticism and professionalism of the dancers. It’s spectacular, it really is,” said Mr. Hickey, who is the vice president and general manager of Aetna, the healthcare insurance company.

He also praised the meticulously designed, handmade costumes worn by the performers.

Each season, Shen Yun produces hundreds of new pieces, recreating regal designs from different dynasties and elaborate ethnic attire. Performers change multiple times during a performance and sometimes in very little time.

“All the costumes are wonderful, and there’s not a hair out of place while they’re dancing. It’s simply amazing,” Mr. Hickey said.

Shen Yun mainly performs classical Chinese dance, but also showcases a diverse array of ethnic dances from China’s distinctive ethnic minorities, and retells ancient myths and stories from classic Chinese literature.

The ethnic dance piece In A Village of the Hmong particularly intrigued Mr. Hickey.

The Hmong, also known as the Miao, are an ethnic group located in southern China, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand. They are known for their decorative silver headdresses and vivacious dances. Growing up, Hickey became acquainted with a local Hmong refugee community.

“A lot of [the Hmong] folks who come to the United States couldn’t stay in China. They couldn’t practice their ethnic background. It was very impressive to see it on stage here,” Mr. Hickey said.

During the Great Cultural Revolution in the 1960s, the Chinese Communist Party enacted a systematic destruction of traditional Chinese art and culture. Founded in New York in 2006, Shen Yun’s mission is to revive this traditional culture.

Reporting by NTD Television and Shaoshao Chen

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.