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St. Petersburg, Florida in Awe as Shen Yun Wows Audiences in Sold-Out Performances

Alina Wang
A native of New York, Alina has a Bachelors degree in Corporate Communications from Baruch College and writes about human rights, politics, tech, and society.
Published: April 6, 2023
Shen Yun Performing Arts is the world's premier classical Chinese dance and music performance, bringing to life 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture and heritage to audiences across the globe in a brand new production each year. Here, a packed house is seen during curtain call for Shen Yun's performance in St. Petersburg, Florida on April 1, 2023. (Image: Emily Jiang/Vision Times)

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida — On April 2, Shen Yun Performing Arts wrapped up a series of sold-out performances in St. Petersburg, Florida — leaving audiences in awe as they embarked upon a breathtaking journey of ancient Chinese culture and artistry through time and space. The performances drew in crowds from all across the region as they witnessed the world-renowned performing arts troupe in action. 

Throughout the show, the performers take the audience on an immersive journey through 5,000 years of traditional Chinese history — showcasing the beauty and depth of Chinese culture and art prior to the ravages of Communism. From ancient legends, ethnic folk dances, and myths to modern-day stories of courage and oppression, Shen Yun’s performances are a celebration of China’s rich heritage and artistic traditions.

Shen Yun Performing Arts is the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music performance, bringing to life 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture and heritage to audiences across the globe in a brand new production each year. (Image: Shen Yun Performing Arts)


The performances in St. Petersburg were no exception, with audience members raving about the show’s stunning visuals, talented performers, and powerful storytelling. Many were impressed by the level of skill and precision displayed by the dancers and musicians who seamlessly blended traditional Chinese dance with modern Western techniques to create a truly unique and awe-inspiring experience.

‘Truly inspiring’

“Oh, I think it’s amazing; all the hours the performers must have put in to create a performance like this, it’s truly inspiring,” said George T. Bush, a certified public accountant and business owner based in Hope County, Florida. 

Bush, who drove for nearly two hours to attend Shen Yun’s performance said the show also reminded him about the importance of not taking one’s freedoms for granted.

“It’s very important that we don’t lose sight of the freedoms we have in this country,” he said, adding, “There’s no other place on the planet like here. We’re not perfect. But we are probably as close as we could be when it comes to having our freedoms and being able to do what we want to do.” 

George T. Bush, CPA and founder of Bush CPA and Co. attended Shen Yun’s performance in St. Petersburg, Florida on April 2, 2023. (Image: Vision Times Staff)

When asked about the spiritual component of the show, Bush said, “There are three things that are disappearing in our society, and globally: morality, truth, character; all of those go together to make us what we are. So I think it’s very important.”

“I enjoyed the truthfulness, modesty and moral conviction,” Bush said, adding, “Those things are important to me.”

‘A beautiful version of [Chinese] culture’

Palmer Ogden, a Junior Vice President working for financial firm Morgan Stanley, told reporters that the performance was “wonderful,” and said he thoroughly enjoyed the “beautiful dancing, costumes, and singing.” 

“I’ve actually been to China before, and it was really interesting to see what China was like before communism took over,” Ogden said, adding, “It was beautiful to see, and communism obviously is known for being very oppressive, but [Shen Yun’s performance] was a much more beautiful version of the culture.”

Palmer Ogden, Junior Vice President and financial advisor at Morgan Stanley, attended Shen Yun’s performance in St. Petersburg, Florida on April 2, 2023. (Image: Vision Times Staff)

Ogden, who attended the show with his wife and daughter, also shared that he particularly enjoyed the musical component and integrative backdrop of the performance. 

“The music was beautiful, and I was amazed how they were able to blend the instruments together; it sounds like classical music,” said Ogden, adding, “I also really like how they integrated the [backdrop] into the show. It was funny at times, and really helped bring every story to life.”

All in all, Ogden said he highly recommends the show and would be back to partake in Shen Yun’s artistry again. “I think it was beautiful, and I would come back to see it again. I think the performance was amazing, and I really enjoyed seeing such great athletes expressing themselves so beautifully.”

Shen Yun’s use of high-tech digital backdrops helps to transport the audience to a whimsical world full of vibrant landscapes, celestial realms, and awe-inspiring landmarks. The performers are also accompanied by a unique orchestra that combines traditional Western and classical Chinese instruments to create a truly unique and soulful experience. 

‘Waited 10 years to see [Shen Yun]’

Adam Arase, CEO and founder of Alii Orca, shared with reporters that he had waited over 10 years to finally witness Shen Yun.

“We’ve been trying to see the shows for 10-plus years, but the timing never worked out,” said Arase, adding, “But the show was amazing, the athleticism and great storytelling with the music was really culturally stimulating.”

Founded in 2006, Shen Yun currently has eight equally-sized troupes that travel and perform around the world simultaneously; featuring a brand new performance each year.

Adam Arase (R), CEO and founder of architectural firm Alii Orca, attended Shen Yun’s performance alongside his wife and daughter in St. Petersburg, Florida on April 1, 2023. (Image: Vision Times Staff)

When asked about what aspect of the show he enjoyed the most, Arase said, “The Erhu soloist, she’s a master at her craft, and it’s great to see the tradition of music and instruments being kept alive.” 

“Despite hearing from other people that had gone to see [Shen Yun] and all of them saying it was amazing, I still don’t think we were prepared for the vivid colors in all the costumes, the choreography, and the gracefulness of all the performers,” said Ogden, adding, “I mean, what they’re doing is extremely difficult, and to do it with such ease and grace, it just goes to show the years of dedication and skills.” 

Ogden, who attended the performance with his family, also noted the emotional impact of the performance, saying, “The stories told through the dance and music were so powerful and moving. I found myself completely lost in the performance, swept away by the beauty and emotion of it all.”

Shen Yun delights audiences in a sold-out house at the Duke Energy Center for the Arts – Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, Florida on April 1, 2023. (Image: Emily Jiang/Vision Times)

Overall, the sold-out performances in St. Petersburg were a testament to the enduring popularity and appeal of Shen Yun Performing Arts. The troupe’s commitment to preserving and celebrating traditional Chinese culture through dance and music has earned them a devoted following around the world, and their performances continue to inspire and captivate audiences everywhere they go.

For more information on Shen Yun Performing Arts’ upcoming performances, including FAQs and ticketing information, please visit the official website here.