Shen Yun Uncovers a Side of China New to Washington Audience Members

January 28, 2023 ShareSHARE

WASHINGTON, D.C.—When Dennis and Courtney Davio attended Shen Yun Performing Arts, they looked forward to learning more about China. The performance ended up being a vaster experience than they had imagined.

“I traveled the world but I’ve never been to China, so to see this culture and realize this culture dates so far back, like 5,000 years, is very impressive to see this, and see how this culture endures, and to enjoy it,” said Mr. Davio, who works in logistics for the government. The couple live in Southern Maryland, but were determined to make the trip to the Kennedy Center to catch Shen Yun’s sold-out Saturday matinee on Jan. 28.

“Just being able to come to the Kennedy Center and see the spirituality of [the] world is truly something beautiful,” Mrs. Davio said. 

The couple marveled at the attention to detail throughout the production, from the dancers’ performances to the costumes and props, and Shen Yun’s lineup of programs showcasing the diversity of China—which includes some 50 ethnic minority groups—and long history with dances from the origin of China’s divinely inspired civilization to the modern day.

New York-based Shen Yun is the world’s top classical Chinese dance company, and aims to show the world “China before communism.”

I think it’s very important,” said Mr. Davio. “It’s good to have shows that not only entertain but show aspects of different cultures.”

“If there is something going on that is politically important to know or that has been covered up or subdued, I think it’s very important for something like this show to bring to light so you can see there is a story and a proud history behind Chinese culture,” Mr. Davio said. 

For 5,000 years, Chinese civilization was divinely inspired, and reverence for the divine was a tenet of ancient Chinese culture. The communist regime of the last several decades has systematically tried to root out this culture and replace it with its atheist culture of struggle.

For Jim Rhodes, Shen Yun prompted a question in his mind: “What would the world be like if communism didn’t take over China?”

“Just what a more beautiful world,” he said.

Mr. Rhodes and his wife Mary also enjoyed the Saturday matinee, and left with a sense of great fulfillment.

Epoch Times Photo
Jim and Mary Rhodes enjoyed Shen Yun Performing Arts matinee at The Kennedy Center Opera House, on Jan. 28, 2023. (Terri Wu/The Epoch Times)

“We’re so, so glad that we came,” Mrs. Rhodes said.

Mr. Rhodes agreed, and the couple had high praise for the production itself.

“The precision is incredible,” Mr. Rhodes said.

Mrs. Rhodes said: “It’s truly extraordinary. We were just saying that the dancers, the choreography, the costumes, the animated background, and the stories—it’s just all incredibly beautiful.”

“It’s hard to find one word that would describe it adequately,” she said. “It’s mesmerizing.”

Reporting by Frank Liang and Terri Wu.

The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of Shen Yun Performing Arts. We have covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.

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