PHILADELPHIA—Shen Yun Performing Arts amazed audiences at the Merriam Theater in Philadelphia from May 3 to 5.
Business leaders, scientists, celebrities, and artists lauded the performance for its beauty, artistic excellence, and spiritual depth.
The house was packed for the four performances by the Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company with audiences using words like “flawless,” “unbelievable,” and “phenomenal” to describe their experiences.
Shen Yun is based in New York and has three companies touring top venues around the globe with a mission the revive 5,000 years of China’s divinely inspired civilization.
“A Shen Yun performance features the world’s foremost classically trained dancers, a unique orchestra blending East and West, and dazzling animated backdrops—together creating one spectacular performance,” the company website states.
Esteemed Scientist: Shen Yun ‘Connects you to all of humanity’
“To me, it’s highly spiritual—it’s something that really feels like it connects you to all of humanity,” said Dr. Andrew Newberg, who is considered a pioneer in the neuro-scientific study of religious and spiritual experiences.
Dr. Newberg is director of research at the Myrna Brind Center for Integrative Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University, has been on the cover of both Time and Newsweek, and appeared on various television and radio programs, including Good Morning America.
“And how humanity is connected to the world in general, it’s a wonderful demonstration of that—an expression of the human spirit,” said Dr. Newberg.
Chorale Founder Lauds Fusion of Dance and Music
Eileen Finley was also watching and listening, fully absorbed.
“My eyes kept going from the stage to the pit, from the stage to the pit,” she said. “It was beautifully choreographed; the dance really spoke to the music. The union of the two is really beautiful.”
For Ms. Finley, who founded the Pennsylvania Youth Chorale, a children’s choir, in 1977, the combination of dance and music worked well, and the Shen Yun Orchestra’s combination of two usually disparate musical traditions worked perfectly.
“The balance between the classical western and Chinese instruments was beautiful,” she said. “The seamless combination provided “a very beautiful comfort level for every listener.”
Local News Anchor: Shen Yun ‘Just gorgeous’
“I thought it was so beautiful,” said Alicia Vitarelli, Action News anchor for ABC television network affiliate WPVI Channel 6. She mentioned the colors, the dancing, and the technique of Shen Yun’s performers.
Ms. Vitarelli said she learned a lot about Chinese culture and traditions from watching Shen Yun. “It was just gorgeous,” she added.
“It was really just so spiritual to watch the dancing and to watch the customs being embodied in all of these costumes, and you watch the women come out and it is just so delicate and graceful,” said Ms. Vitarelli.
“There wasn’t an empty seat, so I am sure that when Shen Yun comes back, Philadelphia will come to see it,” said Ms. Vitarelli.
Reporting by Pamela Tsai, NTD Television, Zachary Stieber, Ananda West, and Ivan Pentchoukov
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 in Albany, NY, on May 9 and in Syracuse, NY, on May 12.
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.