NEW YORK—The importance of five thousand years of Chinese culture was apparent to audience members who saw Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company at Lincoln Center on Jan. 16.
Dr. Marla Delgado, who owns a clinic, said “I think it’s essential so that the younger generation is aware how it was like back then, and hopefully can keep up tradition with their families.”
It “gives you a sense of what things were like, of how the culture has evolved and changed,” she added.
Her husband Richard Gordon, a mortgage banker, said he knew almost nothing about traditional Chinese culture before seeing the performance, but that it gave him a sense of how things were 5,000 years ago. He said he could imagine how the dances were learned, and then passed on from generation to generation.
The mission of Shen Yun is to revive China’s thousands of years-old culture through classical Chinese dance, which is a comprehensive dance form that developed in the imperial courts and Chinese theater and operas where it evolved to express important traditional values such as compassion, loyalty, kindness, and bravery.
These values spoke to Gordon who said, “They’re as good as you could get.”
To portray the vast Chinese culture, Shen Yun dances re-enact folktales, scenes from classical literature, and contemporary stories of faith and hope.
Performances also include several dances that display the distinct cultural character of China’s ethnic minorities. A state-of-the-art animated backdrop brings characters to life and displays scenery from different eras and regions, from the plains of Mongolia to the court of a Tang imperial palace.
Reporting by Hannah Cai 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.