Former OKGOP Vice Chair: I’ll Be Back Again and Bring More People to Shen Yun


A show that people come back to year after year, Shen Yun continues to tour North America and Europe, with shows in multiple cities this week.

“I’ll be back next year, and I’m bringing more,” said Estela Hernandez, former vice chairwoman of the Oklahoma Republican Party, who saw Shen Yun with her friend Gina Pazzaglia in Oklahoma City on Feb. 12.

“It was exceedingly abundantly above what I thought it was, so amazing,” said Pazzaglia, owner of a mental health agency.

Since its inception in 2006, its mission has been the restoration of 5,000 years of Chinese culture and wisdom.

“I think I just took away an insight into the past,” said Michael Sheehan, treasurer of the Onondaga County Medical Society, who saw Shen Yun with his wife in Syracuse, New York. “It was really like a time machine.”

“[It] revealed the beauty, the culture, the spirituality—it was very enjoyable,” said Sheehan. “It’s very, very hard for people in the West to understand ancient China or to see into China, or anything that resembles it. This is like looking thousands of years into the past.”

“So many nice morals and values,” said Regina Sheehan, former president of the Onondaga County Medical Society Alliance.

Shen Yun aims to revive the ancient values that have been passed down throughout 5,000 years of Chinese culture—before the Chinese Communist Party took over.

“It broke my heart to think that the origins of unity and compassion and humaneness have been really decimated by communism,” said Pazzaglia.

“The message is great. Getting back to the classical before communism hit China was very enlightening to me, and very educational,” said​​ Tim Thrasher, CEO of Community Action Partner for Alabama, who saw Shen Yun in Birmingham. “It’s so good to see the history of China.”

The show is filled with legends to myths, folk dances to modern-day stories that are inspired by true events still happening today.

“One scene about the organ harvesting was horrific. Because you know, that goes on today,” said Michael Sheehan.

“And it’s a very touching story about the beautiful culture of China. And how, unfortunately, many of those who want to practice that traditional culture, including those who practice Falun Dafa, are so horribly persecuted by the communist Chinese government,” said Kevin Calvey, Oklahoma county commissioner for District 3.

In ancient China, people believed that their culture was a gift from the divine.

“I saw that they really work together in such harmony, and the choreography, it was really a strong movement of togetherness, which was just, I mean, brought a lot of just peace in my soul. As I watched him, it was really phenomenal is kind of like, time sort of stood still,” said Pazzaglia.

“It really gave me a glimpse of the importance of unity, the importance of compassion, and the importance of individuals having that ability to exercise their individual conscience, that we as human beings were really created to think freely, to think for ourselves, and understanding that there’s a higher being,” said Hernandez. “Walking away, I just want to know more—just where the Chinese culture is and where it can be and where it should be.

Audience members said they found commonalities in the performance.

“Thousands of years, the commonality are those virtues of faith and love and compassion, and giving and caring, and they just brought it all home. Like there’s nothing new under the sun,” said Pazzaglia.

“It’s very relevant to modern days,” said ​​Thrasher. “I have a lot of those same values. And I think across borders, wherever we are, we have those same kinds of connections to the divine, and to those that can bring your salvation, so [I] appreciate that.”

“Just a fantastic performance. It could be on Broadway,” said Michael Sheehan. “More people should see it.”

NTD News, New York

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