NEW YORK—Bollywood actress and film producer Kalpana Pandit said Shen Yun Performing Arts was unreal.
“I would say it’s one of the best, musical, spiritual, precision dance pieces I’ve seen in the world,” she said after the performance at Lincoln Center on April 28. “I shall remember this forever.”
Ms. Pandit, an emergency physician-turned-actress, was the leading actress in Panithuli and starred in Janleva 555, as well as appearing in a range of other films, music videos, and television commercials. She was in New York to judge a Bollywood dance competition and ended up experiencing Shen Yun.
Shen Yun is a New York-based performance company that aims to revive the divinely-inspired, 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture.
Ms. Pandit said the “depth of this beautiful culture” has very deep meaning, especially in today’s world.
“I feel that lack of spirituality is causing a lot of today’s problems with the youth,” she said. “There’s no grounding, because they have no concept of what to hang onto in order to satisfy the soul.”
“I think the deep spirituality which you see in shows like this, it awakens something, and I hope that these kind of shows will help people to explore what it is,” Ms. Pandit added.
Shen Yun presents in some of its dance pieces realms of paradise and the heavens, transporting the audience through the colors of the costumes, the divine nature of the dancing, and the digital backdrops that utilize patented technology.
The performance evoked contemplation from Ms. Pandit.
“There is something that pulls you deep inside, it gives you that sense of belonging to the earth,” she said. “That’s what I felt, especially when they showed all the heavens and the earth, the connection.”
“I aspire that this show touches every corner of the world so that everybody sees it,” she said. “I would love for it to go to India one day and for the people for India to see. This is gorgeous; it is perfect. I aspire that other shows can come up to this level.”
Spiritual Depth of Chinese Culture and Shen Yun
The long Chinese history formed on the three main faiths of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism.
“Under the influence of these faiths, Chinese culture has spawned a rich and profound system of values,” explains Shen Yun’s website. “The concepts of ‘man and nature must be in balance,’ ‘respect the heavens to know one’s destiny,’ and the five cardinal virtues of benevolence, righteousness, propriety, wisdom, and faithfulness (ren yi li zhi xin) are all products of these three religions’ teachings.”
Classical Chinese dance is at the heart of a Shen Yun performance, accentuated by handmade costumes, digital backdrops, and an orchestra that melds both classical Western and Chinese instruments.
Yet there is much more to Shen Yun than what’s on the surface.
“Digging deeper, one discovers a sea of traditional Chinese culture. Mortals and divine beings merge on stage as one,” says the Shen Yun website. Furthermore, the range of principles and virtues from Chinese culture “come to life” through the performance, “washing over the audience.”
Ms. Pandit said: “I’m going to recommend this to all my friends, because it’s something that is obviously thousands and thousands of years old. That traditional culture comes through because of that ancient art form.”
Reporting by NTD Television, Ivan Pentchoukov, and Zachary Stieber
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. The next performances in the northeastern United States are in Philadelphia May 3-5. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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.