Retired JPL Scientist: Shen Yun ‘Is A Soul-Mate to Everybody’


Retired lead scientist Dr. Roger Helizon, who worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for 32 years before retirement, loves arts and used to perform in an orchestra himself.

On April 23, 2017, he watched Shen Yun Performing Arts’ performance at the Terrace Theater in Long Beach, California, and shared that, in his words, the performance reached to his soul.

“I’ll never forget this. This is one great day of my life, honestly, and I’ve been all over this planet.”

There was something beyond just the beautiful dance techniques and perfect choreography that caught the eye at the Shen Yun performance.

“It’s not—well [it is] scripted obviously—but I see a feeling and emotion, a soul-mate to everybody, and the souls coming to the audience. To me, it was fantastic.”

Dr. Helizon thought that Shen Yun takes people beyond today’s modern technology which has everyone looking at their smart phones all the time, and touches their souls.

“By having a place like this and bringing people, the best thing that happened [is that] everybody shuts their phones off. So you start communicating, you can communicate with the people that are doing these stunning performances, I think that’s what’s happening. Drawing—the more you do this, you are like a magnet, bringing their souls together.”

Shen Yun’s mission, which is to revive China’s millennia-old culture, is something that Dr. Helizon deeply admires.

“I love the Chinese culture, five thousand years, and I see it somewhat disappearing— modernization, technology, things of this nature. And it pleases me to see that there’s a connection, still. People are still moving it forward, showing what it has been in the past. To me, that’s great. I think the Chinese society, the family orientation, the grouping, is astounding. I wish I was Chinese.”

Shen Yun’s orchestra, which combines traditional Chinese instruments with classical Western instruments, was also quite moving for Mr. Helizon.

“I used to play in an orchestra. So I just felt my soul came back. Especially with the technology today, that’s being missed. It’s too cold. It doesn’t fit any more. And It doesn’t touch the soul. But when you see something, the wind instrument, the string instrument, and you see human beings actually doing these things without electronic stuffs, to my heart, at least to my soul, I think it’s reaching out a lot of souls like me.”

Yiyuan Zhang and Huiping Wang, NTD News, in Long Beach, California contributed to this article.