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Shen Yun Artists Are ‘Inspired by Something More Than Just Human,’ Says Retired VP

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.—Michael Aspenson, retired vice president of Lockheed Martin, attended Shen Yun’s evening performance with his wife Mary at Pikes Peak Center for the Performing Arts on March 17.

The couple agreed that not only was Shen Yun beautiful and inspiring, it carried a message that many need to hear.

“There were many messages buried in the dance, in the music, in the [lyrics], and in the 3D backdrop,” said Mr. Aspenson.

“The grace and beauty brought forth the message. It ties back to our beliefs in the spiritual world and in heaven.”

He was also wowed by the dancer’s colorful costumes. “The expression of the clothing—it’s almost like they’re a beautiful dancing bunch of flowers and birds.”

The world’s leading classical Chinese dance and music company, Shen Yun Performing Arts was founded in 2006 by a group of Chinese artists who had fled the persecution of the Communist Party.

Prior to the regime’s violent takeover and its spread of atheism, China was known as the Celestial Empire—a country deeply rooted in spirituality and belief in the divine.

Since Shen Yun’s establishment, the New York-based artists have made it their mission to bring back the glory of China’s lost civilization.

As a Christian, Mr. Aspenson was especially touched by this element of Shen Yun’s performance.

“It’s a spiritual experience! The idea that we all come from the heavens—it’s amazing how there are similarities between China’s 5,000 years of culture and the Judeo-Christian religion,” he said.

Mr. Aspenson thought Shen Yun’s music and dancers are “inspired by something more than just human.”

“It was as if the whole program was inspired by the divine,” Mrs. Aspenson chimed in.

“The combination of music and movement and grace brought forth a connection—it showed me how closely we are all connected—back to our culture and our beliefs,” he said.

“Our beliefs in a higher power or that there is a bigger purpose to life—I see that coming out in all the stories. It’s all connected to the heavenly message. When I hear [the word] ‘divine,’ I think of spiritual essence—we are all connected to each other in this way.”

Epoch Times Photo
Dan King (L) attended Shen Yun’s evening performance at Pikes Peak Center for the Performing Arts on March 17, 2023. (Yawen Huang/The Epoch Times)

Also in the audience was biomedical engineer Dan King. He, too, was inspired by the beauty and message of Shen Yun. The performance far exceeded his expectations.

“Visually it was absolutely stunning, the music was absolutely beautiful as well,” he said.

“The storytelling was beautiful in a way that it took us back to [China’s] ancient traditions but also [showed] us the contemporary challenges that this culture is facing.”

In addition to reviving traditional culture, Shen Yun is also dedicated to bringing awareness to the human rights issues in China today.

“I loved that and I think they’re doing a great job telling the story. They are bringing beauty and even comedy into the show but also introducing more recent [challenges],” Mr. King expressed.

“I think that’s powerful. It’s a great way of letting people emotionally feel and not just educate them on the conflicts that are going on in China.”

He also loved the energy of the artists and will definitely be introducing Shen Yun to others.

“Sitting where I was sitting, you can hear how fast the dancers are moving with the snaps of the costumes. You can tell not just how graceful they are, but also how powerful they are,” he said. “The women are incredibly graceful and the men are incredibly acrobatic.”

“I’ll be telling others about this experience. It’s been very, very good.”

Reporting by Sherry Dong, Yawen Huang, and Jennifer Teng. 

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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