NEW YORK—Julianna Conn, who studied at the world-renowned Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Russia when she was younger, said of Shen Yun Performing Arts: “What was really impressive is the choreography—the choreography and the discipline of each dancer and how synchronized everything was, perfectly synchronized. Formally being in ballet, I know what it takes to really perform at this level.”
Ms. Conn attended the New York-based company’s performance at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater on Sunday, Jan. 12. Shen Yun has four equally large companies, featuring the world’s best classical Chinese dancers and musicians. The companies travel the world with a mission to revive 5,000 years of Chinese culture.
“The whole presentation—the colors, the music—was amazing,” Ms. Conn said. Shen Yun Performing Arts Orchestra features a unique blend of Western instruments and classical Chinese instruments, such as the erhu stringed instrument and the dizi bamboo wind instrument.
The Shen Yun website states: “Is it possible for the disparate sounds of East and West to find harmony? Many have tried and failed. But the ability to seamlessly blend these two systems to create one fresh, harmonious sound is what makes the Shen Yun Performing Arts Orchestra unique.”
Ms. Conn was glad she brought her daughter, who is learning Chinese and who has an interest in Chinese culture. They enjoyed the stories told by the dances. Some of Shen Yun’s dances feature Chinese legends and recorded events in Chinese history, and they draw on other profound subject matter from the ancient culture believed to be divinely inspired.
Another dancer in the audience on Sunday, Jenna Schneider, 17, appreciated the skill of the performers as Ms. Conn did.
“The dancing itself is beautiful,” said Miss Schneider. “They are all very flexible. It’s very impressive—the synchronization—it’s awesome.”
Her father, Jeff Schneider, is in the digital projection business. Shen Yun uses projectors from his company, but he said: “I can’t take any credit for the beautiful video. That’s all done by Shen Yun.”
The digital backdrop opens the stage to animated and colorful scenes, such as an ancient Chinese royal court, or tiny Yao village.
Mr. Schneider commented on the contemporary scenes also shown in the Shen Yun dances, in which the persecution experienced by many in China is displayed: “It’s great that [Shen Yun is] telling the story about what is going on in China and letting people know so that hopefully things can get better.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Tara MacIsaac
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.