NEW YORK—Shen Yun Performing Arts enchanted a full house at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center on April 25, including a very special audience member: In-house for the performance was David H. Koch himself, the theater’s namesake.
The American businessman and philanthropist said he loved his experience watching Shen Yun.
“It’s inspirational—it put me in a good mood,” he said. “It’s an art form that I’m not familiar with, but I certainly loved it tonight.”
Mr. Koch, executive vice president of Koch Industries, is the fourth richest person in the United States. His generous $100 million donation in 2008 enabled the recent renovation of the theater. He said Shen Yun’s performance is a good fit for the venue.
“I’m very pleased that a company of this talent performs here, and their dance is exposed to New Yorkers,” he said. “It’s obvious that there’s a lot of people in New York City who like this entertainment.”
The patron of the arts also expressed appreciation for the unique combination of a Western philharmonic orchestra and traditional Chinese instruments in Shen Yun, including the 4,000 year-old erhu, or two-stringed violin.
“I found it very soothing, pleasing,” he said.
Interspersed with the dance pieces are solos by award-winning tenors and sopranos singing in bel canto style. Soprano Haolan Geng stood out for Mr. Koch.
“The power of her voice was remarkable, and such purity, and such drama, it was quite wonderful,” he said.
Ms. Geng performed a second song after strong applause followed her first one. She started studying music at the age of 6 and is a graduate of the music department of the Guangdong Conservatory of Music.
New York-based Shen Yun tours to more than 100 cities each year. Its mission is to revive the ancient Chinese culture that has been nearly decimated by the ruling communist regime.
“For 5,000 years divine culture flourished in the land of China,” explains the company’s website. “Humanity’s treasure was nearly lost, but through breathtaking music and dance, Shen Yun is bringing back this glorious culture.”
Mr. Koch said that he loved the classical Chinese dance in the performance.
“The athletic skill of the dancers was quite something,” he said.
“I hope to see more of it in the future,” he said, noting that Shen Yun can’t currently perform in China.
Mr. Koch left the artists of Shen Yun with a message: “Good luck with your program, and your performance elsewhere in this country.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Zachary Stieber
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.