Sugar Ray Leonard: Shen Yun Is ‘Amazing’

January 26, 2015

HOLLYWOOD, Calif.—The audience loved Shen Yun Performing Arts at Sunday’s matinee, the final performance at the Dolby Theatre on Shen Yun’s Southern California tour.

Among those who enjoyed the display of 5,000 years of Chinese culture was boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard.

“We love the show,” said Mr. Leonard. “The culture is so wonderful and it’s so beautiful, the colors and the moves, the dances and everything else. It’s so amazing.”

Shen Yun uses classical Chinese dance and music to bring to life China’s long history, from the past to the present.

Mr. Leonard also commented on the male dancers, that they were “unbelievable, very tight.”

The Shen Yun website explains: “Classical Chinese dance has a long history of thousands of years, passed down continuously within the imperial palace and ancient Chinese theater and opera. Soaking up profound wisdom from every era and dynasty, it has become a complete system of dance embodying traditional aesthetic principles with its unique dance movements, rhythms, and inner meaning.”

Each dance in Shen Yun tells a story or an aspect of Chinese culture. China’s culture is thought to be divinely inspired, and many of the vignettes in Shen Yun deal with spiritual ideas and the heavens.

These stories spoke to Mr. Leonard. “The stories are very compelling, very powerful,” he said. “Very spiritual. Very touching.”

Ms. Jaleh Miller (L) with her husband at Shen Yun Performing Arts on Sunday, Jan. 25. (Courtesy of NTD Television)
Ms. Jaleh Miller (L) with her friend at Shen Yun Performing Arts on Sunday, Jan. 25. (Courtesy of NTD Television)

Ms. Jaleh Miller, a real estate investor who attended the same performance, was also touched by the stories.

“The stories that were behind it were really, really great,” she said. “I like the philosophy and I love the culture of dancing and the way they perform.”

“It was absolutely awesome,” she said. “It made me feel like I’m flying.”

The dancers impressed her, and not just their technique, but the essence behind their movements.

“They were very spiritual. I think it was Chinese culture that affected the dancing,” she said.

This is not by accident. Shen Yun’s mission is to revive China’s ancient, spiritual culture. The website explains: “Principles such as benevolence and justice, propriety and wisdom, respect for the heavens, and divine retribution, all come to life, washing over the audience. Originating from Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism, these ideals are the essence of traditional Chinese culture.”

Ms. Miller elaborated on this feeling of the spirituality of the dancers, and how it made her feel.

“I feel like they are flying. They are putting their bad things away, out of their spirit. And it just brought happiness,” she said. “It was very peaceful. It gave me harmony, peace and harmony.”

Carol Jones after seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts on Sunday, Jan. 25. (Courtesy of NTD Television)
Carol Jones after seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts on Sunday, Jan. 25. (Courtesy of NTD Television)

Also at the performance was Carol Jones. She was not expecting to find any spiritual themes at the show, but was pleasantly surprised.

“I wasn’t aware that there was a message that the show was trying to convey, spiritually, and I thought that lent something else special to the performance,” said Ms. Jones.

She said she was impressed with the performance overall, and felt “that a lot of people would appreciate the artistry and the grandeur of the show.”

Reporting by Zheng Qu, Mandy Huang, and Ben Bendig

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform around the world. Shen Yun Performing Arts World Company will perform in the Greater Los Angeles area until Feb. 8.  For more information, visit

Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reaction since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.