NEW YORK—The audience at Lincoln Center on Jan. 18, loved Shen Yun Performing Arts and appreciated that the company freely presents its traditions on stage, despite not being able to perform in China.
Shen Yun is a New York-based performing arts group established in 2006 with the mission of reviving 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture nearly lost under 60 years of communist rule. Each Shen Yun performance presents the world’s foremost classically trained dancers, award-winning soloists, a unique orchestra, and animated digital backdrops.
“[It is] ironic these beautiful performers have to come here to perform and show their heritage. It’s mind boggling and it was gorgeous,” said Ms. Cassidy, a trial lawyer who was selected among the top 100 litigation lawyers in 2013 for the state of New York by the American Society of Legal Advocates.
Ms. Cassidy has worked with Erin Brockovich on several toxic tort investigations, including General Motors and the Hyland landfill. Brockovich is an environmental activist who was instrumental in winning a landmark case against Pacific Gas and Electric Company for $333 million in 1996. Later, a movie starring Julia Roberts was made about her life.
With her profound sense of justice, Ms. Cassidy commented that Shen Yun’s impact on the world is immense.
“It’s bringing the message that this is who we are as a people and the oppression isn’t who we are, it’s what we wish to escape.”
Ms. Cassidy shared what she’d tell her friends about Shen Yun. “Oh, go see it! And see it often, and tell other people,” she said.
Making Sure to See Shen Yun
Mr. Metzler, a former Chief Technology Officer at Packard Bell, said when traveling in China for business in the past, he questioned why the Chinese Communist Party persecuted Falun Gong, a spiritual meditation discipline based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.
Many of the classical Chinese artists who founded Shen Yun in 2006 practice Falun Gong.
He said the persecution is “very, very sad.” “I could never understand why,” he said. “I never saw [Falun Gong] as any threat to the government.”
Mr. Metzler works in real estate development in Los Angeles, where Shen Yun just wrapped up performances. Since he missed it, Mr. Metzler made sure that he saw Shen Yun in New York.
He said he “really liked” the performance. “The music is incredible, very, very beautiful. The dance is incredible [too]. The way the girls are moving, the guys are moving, just beautiful,” he said.
Love of Chinese
Ms. Burtman, Ph.D, saw Shen Yun with her son, who is learning Chinese.
“We loved it. It’s incredible, the dancing is wonderful, and it’s great to hear Mandarin because Nathan understands Mandarin.”
Ms. Burtman is co-chair, faculty, and supervisor at the Institute for the Psychoanalytic Study of Subjectivity, according to the Institute’s website. She is also a supervisor at the National Institute for the Psychotherapies and has a private practice in New York City treating, children, adults, couples, and families.
“I think the dynamic dancing is wonderful, and I love hearing the Mandarin and then the English,” Ms. Burtman said, referring to the explanations given by the bilingual emcees between each piece.
“The enthusiasm of everyone in the cast—and the orchestra—is incredible. They have a good sense of humor, too,” she added.
The Shen Yun Orchestra is renowned for masterfully blending ancient Chinese instruments, like the emotive two-stringed instrument, the erhu, and the delicate Chinese pipa, with a full Western orchestra.
Reporting by NTD Television, Hongyu Zhao, Kristina Skorbach, and Raiatea Tahana-Reese.
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.