Shen Yun Is ‘Spreading Joy Throughout the Country,’ Says Company CFO

Feb 17, 2024
Shen Yun Is ‘Spreading Joy Throughout the Country,’ Says Company CFO
Brian Hesch enjoyed Shen Yun's evening performance at the Phoenix Orpheum on Feb. 16, 2024. (Lily Yu/The Epoch Times)

PHOENIX, Ariz.—Chief Financial Officer Brian Hesch was wowed by his experience of Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Phoenix Orpheum on Feb. 16.

Exiting the theater at the end of the evening, Mr. Hesch said the show “was really, really good.”

“I really liked it. It was a lot of different variety of [programs.] I wasn’t expecting so much variety in the stories and incredible choreography,” he added. “The music was just top-notch. Hard to beat. It was beautiful.”

The mission of New York-based Shen Yun is to bring back China’s lost culture and its belief in the divine through beautiful art.

Since its advent in 2006, the performing arts company has grown to become a global sensation, with eight equally sized companies set to perform in over 200 cities worldwide.

“I love seeing performances all over. I’m a musician myself, and I’ve always been in the arts. Theater and dance have always been very moving to me, but you can tell the extreme level of professionalism that all the [Shen Yun] artists have. They’re very well practiced,” Mr. Hesch said.

Prior to the communist takeover in 1949 and the regime’s spread of atheism, Chinese people had a deep belief in the divine. In fact, the whole foundation of China’s civilization was built on values and virtues from the spiritual teachings of Buddhism, Daoism, and Confucianism.

In the decades since the Chinese Communist Party came into power, these beliefs were completely destroyed.

Mr. Hesch, who traveled to China a few years ago, said it’s obvious that there is a difference between present-day communist China and the traditional China that’s presented in Shen Yun.

“It’s very sad. When I was in China—that was a little scary. You feel a little bit of ‘Don’t step out of line or you might regret it,’” he expressed. “You definitely don’t see this. [Shen Yun] was definitely very inspirational. It was very good.”

Moreover, he was pleasantly surprised by the divine values presented in the show and the performers’ commitment to raising awareness about ongoing human rights issues in China.

For this reason, Shen Yun is currently forbidden by the ruling communist regime from performing in China.

When I was “in China, I asked about religion and culture there. The response was, ‘Our culture is money.’ They didn’t say that there was a religion. So, to learn that [spirituality] is actually a part of traditional culture dating back was kind of surprising actually,” Mr. Hesch stated.

“I’m glad to see that [Shen Yun] is bringing it back. I’m sad to see that it’s been oppressed by communism. So, I’m glad to see that [the artists] are educating people about it. I loved that [the message] was about kindness and positivity and bringing people together.”

Finally, he would like to tell all of Shen Yun’s performers that they are doing “amazing, amazing work.”

“It was incredible. I encourage you to continue doing what you’re doing because you’re definitely spreading joy throughout the country here in America.”

Reporting by Lily Yu and Jennifer Tseng.
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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