NEW YORK—Shen Yun Performing Arts delighted, thrilled, and inspired New York audiences during its 10-show performance run at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater Jan 10-19.
Many said they would be back again next year, including longtime New York Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney.
“Everyone loves dance, expression, and paintings. It is a form of communication, a form of friendship. It will help spread culture and understanding,” said Mrs. Maloney.
Based in New York, Shen Yun presents 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture on stage, featuring classical Chinese dance, bel canto soloists, a unique backdrop, and East-West orchestra.
“This is the third year that I came to Shen Yun and it’s magnificent,” said Dr. Odilza Vital, who is the author of the Brazilian best seller: Lose Weight Forever the Brazilian Way.
“This culture should be alive again,” she added.
Sean Tedjarati is an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at New York Medical College and head of the gynecologic oncology division at Westchester Medical Center.
He said after seeing Shen Yun, he has a deeper understanding of ancient Chinese culture and its intrinsic tie to spirituality.
“Most of the movements, there’s even spirituality in the movements. It’s almost like a prayer during the entire show,” he said.
Wall Street banker Thomas White said Shen Yun is visually compelling.
Mr. White urged people not to miss seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts.
“Come see it, please! Come see it before it leaves. I think it’s a wonderful, wonderful opportunity to understand the richness of Chinese culture,” Mr. White said.
Mr. Dharmaputra, a diplomat based in New York, said, “Oh—this is a great, great, great show!”
Touched by Shen Yun
New York City philanthropist and award-winning show dog breeder Valerie Diker said, “I was—just as the children say—blown away by the discipline of the company.”
By children, Ms. Diker referred to the students at the Jacques d’Amboise National Dance Institute, where she is a director emeritae and plays a very active role.
Classical Chinese dance is very expressive for storytelling, and Ms. Diker said she was “very strongly” drawn into a performance called “Buddha’s Compassion Shines Forth.”
“I was just holding my breath,” she said.
The story is set in modern day China where a young couple are persecuted for meditating and holding a banner that proclaims “Falun Dafa is Good.” Falun Dafa is a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted in China for more than 14 years. In this story, all hope seems lost and disaster strikes. Suddenly a Buddha appears and peace and goodness prevail.
“I was very touched by that,” Ms. Diker said.
Nanci Callahan, founder and managing director of the West Side Cultural Center, said that watching Shen Yun was an unforgettable experience.
“I loved it. I loved it … Extremely special. I am so glad to see it,” she said.
“I was crying, it was so beautiful,” said writer Lillian Firestone, who has twice won the Putnam Publishing prize for literature, and founded Firestone Associates, a public relations and marketing firm, operating since 1964.
“I was also touched by the idea of the singers, that life is full of suffering, and that we come here looking for something of another nature,” she said. “That was very touching and I think that’s quite true.”
Actor Robert Mobley, of The Commission, and Law & Order fame, said Shen Yun “opened my heart and my soul and my eyes to a whole beautiful ancient culture that seems very alive and active today.”
“I learned a lot about Chinese culture and traditional Chinese culture that I don’t think a lot of Americans are aware of,” Mr. Mobley said.
He said he would also take home “a lot of good memories.”
Actor/singer Richard Sacher used the words “absolutely phenomenal,” and “absolutely wonderful” multiple times.
“The performance … was to die for. It was just absolutely phenomenal. I didn’t find a flaw in the performance at all. It was great,” Mr. Sacher said. “Now I’m going to be here every year just to see more of it,” he added.
Famed model and fashion designer Yliana Yepez was inspired by the brilliant colors displayed on Shen Yun’s animated backdrop and in the performers’ costumes.
According to the company, Shen Yun’s costume artists collect countless designs of traditional attire. “Every detail is given meticulous attention and is a result of artistic inspiration and careful polishing.”
“These colors will give you life,” said Ms. Yepez. The blues, greens, and oranges, all inspired her.
She is preparing designs for the next Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week, and she said, “Maybe I should change some of the color palette after seeing the show.”
Jenna Lyons, who paints scenes for Broadway shows, was amazed by Shen Yun’s color coordination and design. Shen Yun is “very vibrant, beautiful,” Ms. Lyons said.
Anita Kealey, the designer who created Miss Dakota’s dress, which was the first eco-friendly dress worn at a Miss America pageant, also said the colors and the beauty of Shen Yun inspired her to work on her next collection.
“They’re very on with the color.” Ms. Kealey said. “In fact the number one color for 2014 is radiant orchid; it was seen in the show tonight.”
Triple World-Class Level
Thomas Weck, who bought a front row seat for his third Shen Yun performance, said classical Chinese dance is the most enjoyable dance form he has ever seen.
Mr. Weck is CEO of BOSU Fitness, which is known for balance training and its BOSU Balance Trainer, widely sold in retail stores.
Mr. Weck said he studies the feet, the hands, and the body postures of the dancers in order to learn from Shen Yun.
“These performers are at the top of their profession,” he said.
Having studied music since age 4, Dace Dubrova described the music of Shen Yun Performing Arts as heavenly.
“The orchestra is excellent,” said Ms. Dubrova, who was educated in classical piano and vocals in her native Latvia, and now runs a music school in New York City.
According to Ms. Dubrova, the music in the Shen Yun performance is at a “triple world class level.”
Millions have seen Shen Yun perform at some of the world’s top venues, including Kennedy Center in Washington, the London Coliseum, and Carnegie Hall.
Each season the company produces an all-new show. This year, four Shen Yun companies of dancers, soloists, and musicians toured North America, Asia, and Europe simultaneously.
Reporting by NTD Television and Epoch Times
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.