Iowa Theatergoer Says Shen Yun ‘Lifts People Up’

Apr 23, 2024
Iowa Theatergoer Says Shen Yun ‘Lifts People Up’
Mike Sticklen and his wife, Mary Sticklen, at Shen Yun Performing Arts at Des Moines Civic Center in Des Moines, Iowa, on April 21, 2024.(Nancy Ma/The Epoch Times)
DES MOINES, Iowa—Mike Sticklen, a consultant, and his wife, Mary Sticklen, saw Shen Yun for the first time at the Des Moines Civic Center on April 21.

From the moment the curtain lifted, the Sticklens said they were struck by the wide array of the colors, while the performance gave them a feeling of being “peaceful.”

“The dancing is very well done—coordinated, very precise—and beautiful coloring,” Mrs. Sticklen said.

“It was uplifting,” her husband said. “Many things you see pull people down; this lifts people up.”

Mrs. Sticklen also praised Shen Yun’s unique digital backdrop. The company’s patented method of integrating a 3D animated backdrop with the stage performance allows the dancers to seemingly move back and forth between the stage and the background projection.

Based in New York, Shen Yun is the world’s leading classical Chinese dance production. Through the universal language of music and dance, the company presents story-based pieces that depict heavenly realms, ancient legends, and modern heroic tales spanning 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture.

Shen Yun also features a one-of-a-kind orchestra that permanently blends traditional Chinese instruments into a classical Western orchestra. Reviving the traditional bel canto singing in the upper register, only Shen Yun’s singers are known to use this traditional technique on the modern stage, according to its website.

Mr. Sticklen was particularly moved by the baritone soloist and his song’s message.

“That was excellent … and his voice was just beautiful,” he said. “I loved his message of the Creator. … We all think we can do it all by ourselves, and we can’t—we have to rely on our Creator to do things.”

Along with myths and legends from ancient times, Shen Yun also presents story-based dances depicting the present-day persecution of Falun Dafa, also called Falun Gong, a meditation and spiritual discipline based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.

One dance piece depicts the state-orchestrated crime of forced organ harvesting from Falun Dafa prisoners of conscience in China—part of the Chinese regime’s persecution campaign against the group that began in 1999.

“It was very well done and so true,” said Mrs. Sticklen. “Things are hidden with … how they [are] collecting organs from this group of people. … So, we probably should talk more about that, not to keep it hidden.”

“Anywhere in the world, it’s always important to let people know that evil things are going on,” Mr. Sticklen said.

Reporting by Nancy Ma and Jennifer Schneider.

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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