Dance Expert Sees Joy in Shen Yun Dancers’ Movements

NEW YORK—Shen Yun Performing Arts received standing ovations at a sold-out show on Saturday afternoon at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center.

Audience member Edward Henkel said Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company’s dancers movements were filled with joy. It was a “a joy of freedom, joy of the control of the body,” he said. “And the expression through movement is very freeing.”

Mr. Henkel was a dancer for 35 years, performing with companies including the New York Theatre Ballet, where he was the resident choreographer. He now administers programs at the 92Y’s Harkness Dance Center on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

The dancers of Shen Yun have very refined movements, said Mr. Henkel.

The arm gestures, the movements, and the way the dancers turn their heads was quite expressive, he said.

Shen Yun, a New York-based arts organization, has three equally large companies that travel the globe each year. Shen Yun’s mission is to revive, through music and dance, 5,000 years of China’s divine culture. 

Chinese dance, one of the most expressive and oldest dance forms in existence, is at the heart of the performance.

“I loved the show,” said Mr. Henkel. “I thought it was beautiful.”

“I liked the sense of the yearning to express Chinese culture to the rest of the world—and that means a lot to me.”

For Therese Monaghan, a sister in the Order of Saint Dominic, Shen Yun’s performance evoked contemplation of the divine. 

“I’m very moved—I can still feel it in my heart,” she said. “It was the beauty and the integration of the staging and the music and the movement. I could feel the depth of the spirit coming through, and I felt very, very happy to be here.” 

Ms. Monaghan, who also taught for two decades at Molloy College, felt that the spirituality inherent in ancient Chinese culture was great to see in the performing arts.

“You could feel it,” she said. “Whatever touches the soul or the heart, whatever touches on a deep level, we recognize our connection with one another, we recognize the divine in us, so this certainly brought it out.”

Accompanying Ms. Monaghan on Saturday afternoon at the Lincoln Center was Carolyn, a fellow nun in the order.

“I feel like we were on a retreat,” she said. “It touched my soul.”

With reporting by NTD Television and Zack Stieber

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit

Shen Yun Performing Arts is performing at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center through April 28.

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.