Shen Yun Performing Arts came back to New York’s Lincoln Center with an enthusiastic response from its home state.
The classical Chinese dance and music company was set to perform just 10 performances at the David H. Koch Theater in Manhattan, but ended up adding another four shows when the first 10 sold out. Shen Yun’s last performance ended Sunday, Jan. 21.
“I think it’s something that everybody needs to see. And it brings all the cultures together, which I think is really beautiful. To be in New York City and in Manhattan, and to be able to see a culture that we’re not as familiar with, is very touching,” said Maureen Fritch, president of E. Electrical Contracting, who saw the performance at Lincoln Center.
Frank von Zerneck, a film producer and actor, also saw it there with his wife.
“They’re beautiful dancers,” Mr. von Zerneck said. “I mean great training, precision, beautifully rehearsed.”
“And so delicate. Just excellent, flawless,” his wife, Julie Mannix von Zerneck added.
New York City is known for its cultural attractions, especially its performing arts. While it takes a lot to stand out in such a culture hub, Shen Yun was a memorable experience for many in the audience.
“I’ve seen the advertisements for several years and I’ve always wanted to come, and this year, we decided to do it,” said Gerald Levy, an attorney with McCarter & English, LLP. “And we just loved it.”
“And we’ll be back,” his wife, Pam Levy, added.
Vivian Tannen, a former interior designer, was likewise impressed.
“The performance, the colors were just extraordinary,” she said.
“The storytelling through movement, no spoken language was used. And the narrative, it really worked. And here we are, people from all different nationalities, I had people speaking Spanish on the side of me, and I think we all understood the story, the visual story,” Alexander Berg, a photographer, said.
“I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve been going to concerts, dancing ballet, but nothing like it, it was just amazing,” former ballerina Tamo Bachulashvili said.
Shen Yun was founded in 2006 with a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture through the arts. Its home is about two hours from New York City in upstate New York.
According to its website, Shen Yun is based outside of China because for last 70 years, the Chinese Communist Party has worked to wipe out the country’s cultural heritage.
Shen Yun’s five touring companies travel the world, performing in Europe, Asia, South America, and North America simultaneously.
For the past seven years, the company has performed at Lincoln Center, home to such organizations as the New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Ballet, and the New York City Opera.
For dancer Angelia Wang, who has been with Shen Yun for 10 years and traveled to over 100 cities with the company, there is no better place to perform.
“We’re very honored to perform in Lincoln Center because everybody knows that New York is pretty much the center of the world,” she said. “Every artist has the dream to perform in New York, and [dreaming] bigger, Lincoln Center.”