‘We were absolutely transported!’ Artist Says of Shen Yun

March 31, 2015

FORT MYERS, Fla.—Inspiring, uplifting, magical, passionate, ethereal, an emotional masterpiece—John Schellenberg and Melissa Appling couldn’t say enough good things about the Shen Yun performance at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall on March 30.

“We were absolutely transported!” Mr. Schellenberg said. “It was a magical experience where something cultural is brought to us that has storytelling like a fairytale. … It just captivated us and took us to some place else. It was absolutely exquisite! Absolutely!”

Mr. Schellenberg and his fiancée, Ms. Appling, own Hayes Studio, Salon, and Gallery, a local business. Tickets to Shen Yun were Ms. Appling’s birthday present for her fiancé. “I knew, my brilliant artist would just absolutely appreciate everything here,” she said.

The performance “took us somewhere else—to another time, a magical place.” “It was just wonderful storytelling!” Mr. Schellenberg said.

Through classical Chinese dance, Shen Yun tells stories from Chinese literature and history, as well as contemporary times.

‘An Emotional Masterpiece’

“These dances give dramatic portrayal to the cherished stories of past and present. Their figures embody the most exalted virtues of Chinese civilization, and convey a message or moral that is still relevant in our day. Many have inspired people for generations, such as the tales of heroine Mulan and general Yue Fei,” Shen Yun’s website states.

“It was an emotional masterpiece!” Ms. Appling said, and Mr. Schellenberg seconded her feeling.

“First of all,” he explained, “the two-stringed instrument [erhu]—I was moved to tears. [The soloist] started playing that, and I felt that something echoed within me from something beyond me. It was absolutely beautiful. It was gorgeous. Absolutely exquisite.”

I feel like I was living in a dream world, and I just woke up. Absolutely beautiful!
— John Schellenberg
“I’m left in awe! I can’t even leave. I feel like I’m stuck here. I’m a painter, and they literally painted an entire portrait of stories and fables. I feel like I was living in a dream world, and I just woke up. Absolutely beautiful!” he said.

“There were times it brought you to tears. There were other times you were just exalted.”


Ms. Appling interjected that the performance was humorous.

Her fiancé agreed: “There was humor in it. It was really human, but at the same time, you felt like you were in the presence of something that was more ethereal and something that was more magical.”

They wished they had brought their daughters to the performance. “It would have been very inspiring for them—seeing this is very inspiring for young minds—anyone!” Ms. Appling said.

“Especially in such a digital age … where all our entertainment is through movies, and sound, and film,” Mr. Schellenberg said.

Breathtaking Talent

“This was a true mind-physical-spiritual experience where you’re being elevated with the physical, and the sensory, and you have human beings telling you a story in an ancient fashion, through dance, and sound, and eloquence. The talent was just absolutely breathtaking,” he said.

“I’m floating! I’m floating! I haven’t even left the theater. It was delightful. It was passionate and exciting.”

“Do not miss the opportunity to open yourself to the feelings that Shen Yun can bring you to. It is a truly magical teleportation, if you will. It’s beautiful.”

Shen Yun Performing Arts World Company completes three engagements in Fort Myers on March 31. The company will complete the Florida leg of its world tour with performances in St. Petersburg, Miami, and West Palm Beach.

Reporting by Sally Sun and Louise Rothman

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

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.