NEW YORK—Actress Ellie Braverman found Shen Yun Performing Arts to be one of a kind when she attended the performance at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center on April 26.
“I see tons and tons of theater, and I don’t ever see anything like this,” she said.
New York-based Shen Yun formed with one mission—to revive the divinely inspired, 5,000-year-old Chinese culture.
“This is a very traditional experience of China that you don’t ever get a chance to see,” said Ms. Braverman. “So it’s very special for me.”
Shen Yun’s website describes the allure of a traditional Chinese performance: “Do you enjoy beautiful costumes, exciting music, high-flying dance techniques, stories, and legends? Then you will definitely enjoy Shen Yun! Not only that but the universal themes of compassion, courage, and hope are Shen Yun hallmarks.”
Ms. Braverman immensely enjoyed her experience watching Shen Yun at Lincoln Center on April 26.
“I love it,” she said. “I think it’s beautiful—the costumes, the dance. It’s great to come to theater and see classical Chinese dancing.”
Classical Chinese dance is one of the most expressive dance forms and has existed nearly as long as the culture itself, according to Shen Yun’s website.
Ms. Braverman said Shen Yun inspired her to try learning traditional Chinese dance. “They’re so athletic,” she said. “I’d love to be able to do backflips like that.”
Apart from training in dance fundamentals and movements, classical Chinese dance entails training in flips, jumps, and tumbling techniques.
Donna Mulligan, a human resources professional, said that she also found Shen Yun amazing.
“The colors are beautiful, the music is beautiful, but even more so the story behind it is really heartfelt,” she said.
“I think because the United States is a melting pot, we start to lose some of the different cultural pieces, so it’s really nice to get to see this.”
Though Shen Yun is reviving ancient Chinese culture, it cannot currently perform in China.
“Shen Yun is based in New York where its artistic creators are able to freely express themselves and revive their ancient Chinese culture,” says the Shen Yun website. “Such artistic freedom is unfortunately not present in China under the communist regime, which has co-opted and destroyed traditional arts.”
Ms. Mulligan said that while she felt a little bit of pain because of the suffering shown in several of the pieces—the human rights violations in modern China—she experienced many positive feelings from the performance.
“Hope and joy, because of the fact that you see belief in the goodness of life,” she said.
She was opposed to Shen Yun’s being shut out of performing in China.
“That’s a crime, because this is really beautiful, and it tells the true history of the culture,” she said.
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’s New York Company will be performing 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.