Truth, Inspiration, Hope.

Shen Yun Enchants a Packed Audience at The Palace Theatre in Stamford, Connecticut

Neil lives in Canada and writes about society and politics.
Published: April 4, 2022
Shen Yun 2022 at the Palace Theatre in Stamford, Connecticut enchanted audience goers.
Charles and Andrea Lewis (L) and friends Hannah Colon and Brian Neusch (R). The four were unanimously delighted with their experience at the April 3 matinee production of Shen Yun 2022 at the Palace Theatre in Stamford, Connecticut. (Image: Laura Hatton/Vision Times)

Lucky takers of the matinee edition of Shen Yun Performing Arts in Stamford, Connecticut at The Palace Theatre on April 3 enjoyed a rare chance to witness and experience China’s 5,000-year-old traditional culture. 

Shen Yun, whose 2022 performance bears the slogan “China Before Communism,” states on its website that the company’s mission is to “revive a culture that was once almost lost.”

“Over the past decades, the Chinese Communist Party has treated traditional culture as a threat to its rule,” they add.

“Through campaigns like the Cultural Revolution, it has systematically uprooted traditional beliefs and destroyed ancient treasures, bringing 5,000 years of civilization to the brink of extinction.”

Several audience members Vision Times interviewed after the performance were simply enchanted by the experience.

A two-year wait

Bianca Wren (R) and her mother Geta waited two years to see Shen Yun after the 2020 performance was canceled because of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) lockdowns. Bianca described the show as “absolutely magnificent.”
Bianca Wren (R) and her mother Geta waited two years to see Shen Yun after the 2020 performance was canceled because of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) lockdowns. Bianca described the show as “absolutely magnificent.” (Image: Laura Hatton/Vision Times)

“We have been waiting two years,” said Bianca Wren, alongside her mother Geta. “With the shutdowns and everything, we wanted to see it two years ago, and then it was shutdown.”

“So we were just extra happy to be here.”

After finally being able to witness Shen Yun, Bianca could only say, “It’s absolutely magnificent.”

“We love it so much, and there’s a story behind every scene. We love that the hosts come out and tell us about it ahead of time, and the stories just give you goosebumps and chills.”

‘An incredible experience every single time’

Victoria Szafranska told Vision Times that 2022 marked her third or fourth time to see Shen Yun, which performs an all-new presentation each year. She described this year’s performance as “incredible.”
Victoria Szafranska told Vision Times that 2022 marked her third or fourth time to see Shen Yun, which performs an all-new presentation each year. She described this year’s performance as “incredible.” (Image: Laura Hatton/Vision Times)

As Shen Yun tours the world and performs on the biggest stages each year, an all-new production is composed and displayed, featuring new music, new costuming, new stories, and for returning audience members, an all-new experience.

Victoria Szafranska told Vision Times that 2022 marked her third or fourth tour to Shen Yun.

“It’s incredible,” she said. “It’s just an incredible experience every single time.”

Although she was delighted that “it’s profound learning about the culture and Chinese medicine” displayed in the show, Victoria said that the portion of the performance that left a deep impression on her was, “How they’re [the Chinese Communist Party] persecuting the practitioners that believe in Falun Dafa.”

Falun Dafa (法輪大法), a qigong practice studied by all Shen Yun performers, features four simple standing exercises and a classical sitting meditation.

Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong (法輪功), began spreading in China in 1992.

The focus of the system, which is totally free to learn, is on inner cultivation of the universal principle of Truthfulness-Benevolence-Forbearance (真善忍; Zhen-Shan-Ren) and lead to an incredible explosion of popularity that resulted in some 100 million people taking up study.

Since 1999, under the personal directive of former Chairman Jiang Zemin, the CCP launched an unprecedented, full-scale, national campaign to eradicate Falun Dafa and its millions of practitioners.

The CCP’s persecution campaign still persists to this day as the 95-year-old Jiang and his cohorts battle from behind the scenes for control of the Party against current leader Xi Jinping.

“It’s a really strong message to get out there for everyone to know about what’s going on,” Victoria said.

Cultural enlightenment

For Michelle Smith, 2022 was her first time seeing Shen Yun. Michelle said she was inspired to see the show because she loves Japanese culture, which has similarities to Chinese culture.
For Michelle Smith, 2022 was her first time seeing Shen Yun. Michelle said she was inspired to see the show because she loves Japanese culture, which has similarities to Chinese culture. (Image: Laura Hatton/Vision Times)

For Michelle Smith, 2022 marked her first time witnessing Shen Yun and its display of China’s, authentic 5,000 years of Chinese culture.

The verdict was unequivocal, “It. Was. Amazing,” she said. “It was beautiful. It was vibrant, everyone was very talented, and I learned a lot about the culture.”

Michelle explained her motive for attending the show, “I really had a passion for Japanese culture, so that’s what made me come to see this.” 

After seeing the entire performance, she described it as “very enlightening and educational.”

Smith also stated that she would recommend the show to everyone, even those who have the notion that they’re “not into dance.” 

“I would recommend it even if you’re not into dance,” she said. “I used to be a dancer, but even if you’re not a dancer, I would recommend it just to learn about the culture.” 

“You can learn about the culture in two hours.”

‘Something for everyone to appreciate’

harles and Andrea Smith (L) and friends Hana Colon and Brian Neusche (R). The four said they have seen the posters and marketing for Shen Yun for many years, and always wanted to see it. All four were delighted with Shen Yun’s energy, technical skill, choreography, and storytelling.
Charles and Andrea Lewis (L) and friends Hannah Colon and Brian Neusch (R). The four said they have seen the posters and marketing for Shen Yun for many years, and always wanted to see it. All four were delighted with Shen Yun’s energy, technical skill, choreography, and storytelling. (Image: Laura Hatton/Vision Times)

For Charles and Andrea Lewis and friends Hannah Colon and Brian Neusch, after seeing Shen Yun’s posters and advertisements in the area over the last several years, the show was on their radar.

All four attended for the first time, and said they were delighted with the experience.

Andrea said she “liked the wide variety” Shen Yun offered, specifically the acrobatics, ballet, and what she described as “a little bit more modern touch that they added to it.” 

“It’s just something for everyone to appreciate,” she said.

For Charles, he said, “The choreography really comes to mind. I think it was really good, the movements were to the beat, and that’s what stood out to me the most.”

Hannah stated, “Mine definitely has to be the energy throughout,” describing the dancers and their expressions as “all beautiful.” 

She added, “It just takes a lot of endurance to have so much energy for all of those dance numbers.”

Brian said his favorite part was, “Definitely the expressions. The story telling, the movement, was absolutely amazing, the whole way through.”

With reporting by Kalina Valquery.