NEWARK, N.J.—New Jersey City University Dean Sandra Bloomberg came to see Shen Yun at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center on April 12.
Ms. Bloomberg, who saw the show with retired professor Bo Yaworsky said: “We really wanted to see it and we missed it in New York and we knew it was playing here so we came here to [New Jersey].”
New York-based Shen Yun revives China’s rich 5,000-year-old culture, displaying ancient legends, ethnic dances, and classical Chinese dance, as well as scenes from contemporary life in China. The performances are accompanied by a traditional Western orchestra including Chinese instruments.
“I think it’s colorful, the dancing is fantastic, it’s acrobatic, it’s very uniform. It’s just beautiful! It’s just really a beautiful performance, we’re enjoying it,” Ms. Bloomberg said.
Chinese dance combines graceful moves with more dramatic leaps and tumbling techniques. “It is able to transcend ethnic, cultural, and even linguistic barriers, taking this well-established Chinese culture and presenting its essence to the world,” according to the Shen Yun website.
Ms. Bloomberg also really liked the music, which featured the traditional Chinese two-stringed violin, known as the erhu.
“I feel it is very uplifting and you can hear the wood winds, the strings, but also you could hear the more traditional Chinese instruments. It’s just beautiful, and it’s just so lovely with the dancing, it’s just so beautiful, I love it,” she said.
“The erhu is one of the most important Chinese instruments, with a history of over 4,000 years. Though it has only two strings, it can convey a wide range of emotions,” according to the Shen Yun website.
Overall, Ms. Bloomberg thought Shen Yun gives a very accurate representation of Chinese culture: “What I know of it, it’s very consistent. It’s gentle, it’s strong, it’s just beautiful.”
Dance Instructor Hasn’t Seen Anything Like Shen Yun Before
Professional dance instructor Jessica Johnson also attended the evening performance on April 12.
“I think it’s fantastic! It’s so interesting to see different styles. I teach ballet, tap, and Jazz, so to watch this, with all the different designs and everything it’s just really incredible,” she said.
She was so impressed with the artistic skill, she even thinks Shen Yun represents a class of its own.
“Normally I go and see New York City ballet, the Nutcracker, and things like that that are very traditional. This is just like a whole new level of dancing for me.”
She also commented on Shen Yun’s unique animated backdrop. “The screen is very interesting as well, the way they incorporate the screen with the jumping and everything else.”
Blending projection technology with ancient culture, Shen Yun’s backdrop presents scenes from celestial palaces to Tang Dynasty pavilions, giving audiences insight into China’s long history. The backdrop aids in the storytelling, allowing performers to move from stage to screen.
Ms. Johnson enjoyed the show so much, she will tell all her friends. “I’m definitely going to tell them about this. I’m going to tell them to see it. I think that they would really enjoy it.”
Reporting by Hannah Cai, Frank Liang, and Valentin Schmid
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. There will be four performances in Philadelphia April 25-27. 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.