NEW YORK—Li Ying came to the United States eight months ago from mainland China and was surprised and proud to see Shen Yun Performing Arts present traditional Chinese culture in the United States.
“I feel very good. The dancing and choreography was full of imagination and very rich. It was excellent. The history from ancient times until today is embodied in the programs. I liked it very much.”
New York-based Shen Yun came together in 2006 with the mission of reviving 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture with dance, music, and a digitally animated backdrop.
This year’s performance features 22 different pieces as well as traditional songs. “In less than 10 minutes each, Shen Yun dances recount ancient myths, bygone heroes, or celestial paradises,” according to the Shen Yun website.
“I was surprised to see traditional Chinese culture being showed in America. I hope that ancient Chinese culture can be spread to all countries in the world. I’m proud and really happy to see this in America,” she said.
Li Ying watched the April 24 performance of Shen Yun at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater.
‘On the edge of his seat’
Ann Recco, an accountant, and Partricia Cahill, a retired caregiver, also said that they wished such a performance could be shown in China.
“I sat next to a man who sat on the edge of his seat. He was Chinese. The emotion on his face was wonderful. It made you wonder the last time he was allowed to see such beauty,” said Ms. Recco.
“It is more than a shame,” she added. “It is a downright atrocity that it is not allowed in the country where their people live.”
Ms. Recco appreciated the lyrics in the songs, which are all-original compositions interspersed with the dance pieces.
“The words to the classical pieces that were sung were amazing because it expanded your mind’s eye as well as made you understand how you should be living,” she said. “Not for now, but for all eternity.”
According to Shen Yun’s website, “Brimming with philosophical reflection about human life and containing deep layers of meaning, the texts go beyond the boundaries of nation, race, and culture, and have been fondly received and appreciated the world over.”
“Some audience members have even expressed that Shen Yun’s vocal pieces are reminiscent of sacred music, calling them ‘hymns.'”
Reporting by Hannah Cai and Valentin Schmid
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.
Shen Yun Performing Arts is performing at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center through April 28.
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.