‘It was Awesome,’ ‘Beautiful’ Says Retired Banking VP

CHICAGO—“It was awesome!” exclaimed Sharon Mitchell-Holtz, a retired Vice President in banking about the Shen Yun Performing Arts’ performance at the Civic Opera House in Chicago. Ms. Mitchell-Holtz came with her husband, Norman Holtz, a retired purchasing manager who expressed his feelings about the show.

“The costuming,” said Mr. Holtz, in reference to what impressed him the most about Shen Yun. “It was beautiful. Everything, I just loved it.”

Shen Yun, based in New York, is the world’s premier classical music and dance company.

The couple is currently in Batavia, Ill., and active with the Batavia Parks Foundation.

“The dancing was unbelievable,” said Ms. Mitchell-Holtz. “They were floating across the stage. The soprano singers were fabulous. It was much more than we had expected, which was very nice.”

Many who come to see Shen Yun wish to come back next year. In fact, every year Shen Yun performs different stories and pieces, making each year’s performance unique.

“It was a wonderful performance,” continued Mr. Holtz. “I can’t wait to see it again.”

Shen Yun depicts 5000 years of Chinese civilization, encompassing a great deal of history, from folk tales to historical dynasties.

“It’s nice to hear a lot of the history of China, too, and to actually see it,” added Ms. Mitchell-Holtz.

Unfortunately, though, Shen Yun can not perform in China today due to the current political climate there.

“[I feel] a little sad that it cannot be performed in [their] own country,” she continued. “[It’s] very uplifting, though, that we get to see it, and that it is seen all around the world.”

Two emcees add a unique sense of perspective to each piece, as well as serve as translators for both English and Chinese audience members.

“The dancing, the stories, it was very helpful because I tried to read as much as I could before it started, and I didn’t realize how much there would be,” she said. “So, to have the announcers come out and give you an idea of what you were going to see made it very helpful. And then you can go back and read it later and remember a lot of what you saw.”

Shen Yun is also deeply spiritual. It was common belief in the past that China’s civilization was directly handed down by the heavens. That belief stuck with Chinese culture until the 20th-century.

“I enjoyed the spirituality of the performance,” Ms. Mitchell-Holtz said. “I thought a lot of it was uplifting. Some of it reminded me of some of the things I have seen on the news in the past about things that have happened in China and has held the people back. I’m really grateful that there’s so much courage to bring this out and to show it all around the world, and I hope that someday the people in China will also get to enjoy it!” she said.

“It’s so beautiful,” Mr. Holtz affirmed.

With reporting by Teresa You and Paul Darin

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

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