NEW YORK—Sensory delight and rich layers of culture delighted audience members at the opening performance of Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company at Lincoln Center, Friday, Jan. 10.
“Amazing.” “Magical.” “Wonderful.” “Graceful,” said mother and daughter Carla and Dayna Bell, alternating each other’s words.
The younger Ms. Bell, who was a dancer and gymnast in her youth, said the show was, “Everything I thought it would be and more.”
“Colorful, colorful, beautiful. The grace was unbelievable. It was like they were floating across the stage, it was magnificent,” her mother said.
Shen Yun performs classical Chinese dance with a full, live orchestra that blends Eastern and Western instruments.
Throughout the course of the show the dancers don hundreds of vivid, handmade costumes that are inspired by different Chinese ethnicities and historical eras. Classical Chinese dance has developed over 5,000 years of Chinese history and incorporates difficult leaps, spins, and flips, as well as unique cultural expressions that draw inspiration from a divine source.
The sacred cultural elements of the performance spoke to Kem Spencer, who works at a surgery center in New Jersey. “Shen Yun [is] the beauty of the divine as it relates to dance,” he said.
These elements cross cultural barriers and are important for modern people, he said.
“When American people and others of various cultures take a look at the essence of Chinese culture and art and theater, and take a look at the deep meaning of it … it’s still relevant today.”
He appreciated the breadth of history covered by the performance, which he said showed him the “evolution of the Chinese culture, starting with the emperor and the various different dynasties,” and ending with a reminder of contemporary reality.
Shen Yun dedicates several pieces to human rights issues in modern China.
“It brings it all together and opens the eyes of the rest of the world, and that’s really the beauty and essence of it,” Spencer said.
“It’s absolutely wonderful to see the Chinese culture and the beauty of it all,” he said.
Reporting by NTD Television and June Fakkert
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit Shen Yun Performing Arts.
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.