NEW YORK—Singer Bill Jones saw Shen Yun Performing Arts on Thursday night at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater, and he said: “I see the colors, and I see the music, and I see the way its presented, and its just kind of like, wow! It’s just something that is so totally out of my realm of experience.”
He said Shen Yun provides so much stimulation for the senses. ”It is amazing—the balance, the athleticism, the ability, the choreography of having people doing these fascinating things in tandem.”
Mr. Jones is visiting New York from Minnesota to perform with a group at Carnegie Hall. He attended the performance with Ann Kay, a music teacher, and both of them were impressed with the unique blend of classical Eastern and Western instruments in the Shen Yun Performing Arts Orchestra.
“The music is amazing,” Ms. Kay said. “The blend is very interesting.
“The best part is the capturing of the folktale in the dance and the motion of the dancers,” she said. The New York-based company brings 5,000 years of Chinese civilization to the stage through story-based dances.
Shen Yun features ethnic dances from some of China’s 55 diverse ethnic groups. Most of the dances, however, are classical Chinese dance, a rich form that has developed with Chinese culture over centuries.
One of the components of classical Chinese dance is bearing. Bearing can be described as the inner spirit that the dancer expresses through movement. It comes from an innate understanding of the culture.
Shen Yun’s performers work not only on perfecting their skills, they also work on improving their minds and hearts, as the two are inseparable in the ancient Chinese culture they are helping revive.
Mr. Jones perceived this: “It cannot be just the physical thing … They have to have something beyond that, that has them doing this and moving the way they do.”
He said when people perform, “It either comes across as something real, or comes across as a façade; this is obviously an extremely real thing for the people watching it as well as for the performers.”
Classical Chinese dance also includes difficult flips, turns, and jumps, echoing martial arts techniques from ancient battlefields. It is the origin of modern gymnastics. Mr. Jones praised this aspect of the performance, saying he couldn’t imagine being that athletic.
Ms. Kay said: “It’s beautiful, it’s just beautiful.”
Reporting by Aric Chen and Tara MacIsaac
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.