Shen Yun Evokes Thunderous Applause and a Standing Ovation in Jacksonville, Florida (Photos)

( The world renowned New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts made a great and lasting impression on Jacksonville, Florida audiences during two exhilarating shows held at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts, on January 29-30, 2013.

Shen Yun Performers “A Miracle”

Among the many delighted guests in the audience was Calena Townsend, an insurance agent, who thought the performers “are a miracle!”

Having studied dance as a young girl, Mrs. Townsend described the dancers in the show as “amazing!”

“They are far beyond anything you see normally in the United States—nothing like the synchronization, nothing like the way they are matched to each other and [the way] the steps are matched.

“Everything is just perfect. The costumes are beautiful. Everything is just beautiful,” she enthused.

When Mrs. Townsend found out that Shen Yun cannot perform in China, she said that this is “the only sad thing” about the show. She knew that the Chinese people would love to see it, especially the “young people in China.”

One of the main reasons why she and her husband wanted to see Shen Yun was because they wanted to learn more about Chinese culture. She said Shen Yun “looked like such a wonderful thing to experience—very happy to be able to come.”

After seeing the stories, such as Sand Monk Is Blessed from the novel Journey to the West, she now wants to learn more about the background and the history of Chinese culture.

Mrs. Townsend also enjoyed the live orchestra, saying, “All of it’s wonderful and it’s wonderful to have the orchestra. It makes it very special.”

She concluded by saying that she was very delighted to see Shen Yun. “It’s beautiful. The music is beautiful. It’s visually just wonderful. It’s everything that we read that it would be!”

Very Well Pleased,” Says Prominent Businessman

Also in the audience was Jake Piatt, who was accompanied by his wife Vicki and their two sons.

“I was very well pleased,” Mr. Piatt said of the performance.

Mr. and Mrs. Piatt own Country Club Real Estate, an exclusive residential real estate firm in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Mr. Piatt was a U.S. Navy commander.

He described Shen Yun as “very unique,” adding, “It’s not offered that often.” Shen Yun last visited Jacksonville three years ago.

He was glad that he had made it to the show. “Oh, it’s pretty awesome,” he said, with a warm smile.

One of his sons is studying the Chinese language at a private college preparatory school in Jacksonville.

Mr. Piatt chuckled and said, “We enjoyed it. I’ll get a full debrief on the way home from the kids.”

After he read up on Shen Yun, he learned that the orchestra was “one of the top orchestras.”

When asked of his overall impression of the show, he said: “I’ve never seen anything so well-choreographed, and it was just wonderful. Of course, the costumes were unbelievable, and then the graphics behind [the performers] were really a strong accent to the story. The artists were all great.”

Having seen Shen Yun, he said that it left him eager to learn more about Chinese stories and culture. “I am going to study a lot more of it when I get home, and I’m looking forward to that.”

Mr. Piatt concluded by saying that he would like to see more and more information on Shen Yun available throughout the local community. “I’m sure it’s spreading,” he said.

Shen Yun Dancers Very Good, Says Jacksonville Sharks Owner

Mr. Jeff Bouchy of St. Augustine and his two girls enjoy Shen Yun Performing Arts in Jacksonville. He travels a great deal and takes his children with him, wanting them to have enriching experiences. (Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times)

Jeff Bouchy of St. Augustine, Florida took his two little girls to the Times-Union Performing Arts Center to watch the Shen Yun show, while his wife took the boys to eat at their favorite restaurant.

According to the eldest girl, she and her sister are avid and serious dancers and they like dance “a lot,” and according to the youngest, they like it “a lot, a lot!”

Mr. Bouchy owns the Jacksonville Sharks arena football team and three companies, all entertainment and sports-related businesses. His team won a championship in 2012.

He said that he travels a great deal and whenever possible, he takes his children with him, wanting them to have enriching experiences. In the same spirit, he brought his daughters to see Shen Yun, knowing they love dance and performing arts.

Speaking to his children, Mr. Bouchy said: “I definitely like the colorful costumes, and the backdrops are great. They are very good dancers. Do you think they are good dancers?

His older daughter said, smiling, “I think they look like rainbows, and they are really colorful.”

After a brief moment of shy fidgeting, the younger daughter said, “Even I liked how they came out of the screen.”

Shen Yun uses digitally projected backdrops. Performers appear to enter and emerge from the screen. With state-of-the-art graphics technology, Shen Yun’s digital-backdrop team creates vividly animated settings, extending the stage and transporting the audience to a world where heaven and earth are one.

Former Ballerina: Shen Yun Dancers Very Talented

Robert and Lorena Kappelmann at the performance of Shen Yun Performing Arts in Jacksonville Florida on Jan. 31. (Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times)

Also seated in the show was former ballerina, Lorena Kappelmann, who described Shen Yun as “beautiful,” adding, “The colors are vibrant, and it’s very exciting!”

“Fifty years ago I danced on that stage,” Mrs. Kappelmann said, reflecting on her youth. At that time she performed classical ballet—Russian, French, and the Cecchetti method—and also ethnic dances.

“I think they’re beautiful,” she said of the dancers. “I think they’re very talented.” She especially noted the female dancers’ tiny steps and their hand movements: “I thoroughly enjoyed that.”

“My husband, Robert, got me a wonderful pair of little binoculars, and I’ve just been ogling everything. It’s marvelous. The girls just float, and that was what we tried to attain.”

Mrs. Kappelmann said she is deaf but can read lips. “I can get little bits of the music and I just am thoroughly enjoying it,” she said of the Shen Yun Orchestra.


Mr. Kappelmann, a consulting engineer who has his own business, said, “I like the costuming, the dance, everything—the excitement of the dancers.”

“I like the fact that it goes through the history and all. It’s very nice,” he said.

“Shen Yun’s mini-drama pieces draw upon stories and legends that span China’s history from the Yellow Emperor and through the Tang and Song dynasties and all the way to the modern day,” the Shen Yun website states.

“It’s pretty exhilarating to see the dances, especially with the jumps and acrobatics, the tumbling, and all,” Mr. Kappelmann enthused.


CATEGORY: Shen Yun Performing Arts


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