Shen Yun ‘Was Exciting and Peaceful,’ Says Purple Heart Commander

February 23, 2014

LAS VEGAS—Richard Small and his wife Shirley came to see Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Reynolds Hall in The Smith Center for the Performing Arts on Feb. 22. They found there a unique perspective on ancient Chinese culture and the grace and peacefulness of classical Chinese dance. 

While he was an Army medical officer during the Vietnam war, Mr. Small received the award of the Military Purple Heart. He is currently the National Region VI Commander for the Military Order of the Purple Heart and he was appointed as National Surgeon in 2013. Region VI consists of Nevada, Utah, Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Guam. 

Mr. Small truly enjoyed the historical perspective of the performance and said he took “joy in the music and dancing.”

Shen Yun, a non-profit company based in upstate New York, explains on its website, “For 5,000 years the divine culture flourished in the land of China. Humanity’s treasure was nearly lost, but through breathtaking music and dance, Shen Yun is bringing back this glorious culture.”

The piece The Monkey King Thwarts the Evil Toad captured Mr. Small’s attention. This is a rollicking tale from the classical Chinese novel The Journey to the West, where the Monkey King and his fellow adventurers help the moon goddess regain her stolen elixir and ruin the plans of the evil monster toad.

Mr. Small was delighted by Shen Yun’s humor and sense of fun: “The one with the moon goddess and the frog was fun!” The fantasy world of the folk stories especially intrigued him.

Mrs. Small liked the dancing and was impressed by the performance as a whole.

Touched by the beauty of the Chinese culture conveyed by Shen Yun, he added, “It was exciting and peaceful at the same time, and particularly captured my interest.”

Lotus Fairies is a segment where celestial fairies scatter serenity from the heavens above, which resonated deeply with Mr. Small. “Well the lotus … our backyard has a garden and it is my escape, my peaceful place.” 

Reporting by Albert Roman and Cheryl Casati

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit Shen Yun Performing Arts.

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.

Las Vegas, United States