NEW YORK—For 5,000 years divine culture flourished in the land of China. On April 26, it flourished on stage at David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, when Shen Yun Performing Arts graced the stage.
The ancient Chinese culture was almost destroyed under communist rule, so Shen Yun formed to revive it. While Shen Yun has earned acclaim all over the world, a performance still cannot be seen in China today.
“I thought it was a really exciting performance,” said Ms. Brigid Steenberge, senior account manager with global digital marketing agency iCrossing.
“I am inspired to be more creative myself,” said Ms. Steenberge. “With the dance and the colors, it makes me want to do something more along those lines and incorporate that into my life.”
While the heart of a Shen Yun performance is classical Chinese dance, it is accentuated by ethnic and folk dance and story-based dance. Visitors to Lincoln Center were treated to dance pieces as varied as A Legacy of Grace, which is a Bai ethnic dance, The Emperor Journeys to the Moon, which tells of a vision Tang Dynasty Emperor Tang Xuanzong had, after which he wrote a famous poem.
Ms. Steenberge said the dance pieces, which are less than 10 minutes each, presented a diverse offering.
“It evokes different emotions based on the different types of stories,” she said. “You really feel for the characters, you’re inspired, you’re sad. I feel that it pulls those emotions out.”
Ms. Iris Fanelli, owner of Health Management Systems, a consulting and applied research group for the health care industry in New York, enjoyed the traditional culture in the performance.
“The costumes and the dancing are spectacular, but it’s also a wonderful show to teach us the history of a lot of different parts of China that we didn’t even know,” she said.
“I enjoyed learning the different parts of the culture in China,” said Ms. Fanelli, adding that the performance felt “very warm, friendly,” and “It has a good family foundation.”
Digital backdrops, handmade costumes, and an orchestra that joins both classical Western and Chinese instruments accompany the dancers in the performance.
“It was absolutely gorgeous,” said Ms. Linda Tarasuk, owner of LA Belle Epoque, a small art gallery selling vintage posters based in Englewood, New Jersey.
“I just found out about it this year, and I find it to be the most gorgeous, colorful, beautiful,” said Ms. Tarasuk. “And I can’t wait to see again next year.”
The revival of Chinese culture connected with Mr. Farhad Motiwalla, principal at Strategic Communication Lab, a business development and strategy firm based in New York.
“There is so much of Chinese history that hasn’t come through beyond the last 50 or 60 years,” he said.
Being based in New York gives Shen Yun free expression, outside of communist-ruled China, to present the ancient history on stage, according to the company’s website.
“The courage and outspokenness of our artists is one of the reasons why Shen Yun is so well-loved,” it states.
“I think it’s very important for people to understand their history, their heritage, and where they come from. We have so much to learn from our past but I think most of us don’t pay attention,” said Mr. Motiwalla. “I think this is one more opportunity to realize that simple things are so important.”
Reporting by NTD Television, Hannah Cai, Huiwen Ji, and Ananda West
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.