NEW YORK—Doina Sandulache and Lisa Paloympis are good friends, both chemists, vice presidents in cosmetic companies, and repeat patrons of Shen Yun Performing Arts.
“I love the show. This is the third time I’ve seen the show,” Ms. Sandaluche said after the matinee at the David H. Koch theater at Lincoln Center, Jan. 10. “Practically I see it every year.”
There isn’t a thing she doesn’t enjoy about the New York-based company’s performance, Ms. Sandaluche said, from the beauty of the presentation to its mission to revive 5,000 years of Chinese civilization.
“It’s just mesmerizing every year,” Ms. Sandaluche said.
“It was very entertaining,” Ms. Paloympis added.
The revival of traditional culture was a point that stuck with both women.
“I’m coming from a communist country too, so I know exactly how important it is,” said Ms. Sandaluche.
Chinese culture is said to be divinely inspired and Shen Yun’s performances bring values like benevolence, justice, propriety, and wisdom to life, according to the company’s website. But the communist regime that has been in power for the last 60-plus years has forced atheism on society, launching various campaigns to destroy the traditional culture.
On the surface, the regime appears to be bringing back some forms of the arts, but the efforts are ineffectual, the website explains: “The Chinese Communist Party removes the cultural essence of respect for the divine, thereby extracting the heart and soul of traditional Chinese culture. Shen Yun seeks to revive these virtues the world over.”
That cultural essence is imbued in every aspect of Shen Yun.
It comes through in the ethnic and folk dances, such as the Tibetan dance “Snow Capped Celebration”, which shows the ethnic groups’ reverence for the divine. It is in the costumes, which showcase heavenly regalia, and the traditional Han clothing, which is said to be inspired by the heavens as well.
The animated backdrops take the audience on a journey through 5,000 years, from the realm of Buddhas, to the inception of Chinese culture, and back to the celestial palaces. The music, too, combines the grandeur of a Western orchestra with the sensibilities of ancient Chinese instruments.
Shen Yun has made such a lasting impression on Ms. Sandaluche that she told her son he must see it too. So two weeks ago, he and his family attended a performance in Houston, Texas.
Shen Yun performs in about 100 cities every year and has upcoming performances in San Francisco, Boston, and Los Angeles.
In the same audience as Ms. Sandaluche on the afternoon of Jan. 10 was Angelina Frabasile. Ms. Frabasile was seeing the performance for the fourth time at Lincoln Center.
Every year she attends the performance Ms. Frabasile brings someone with her to share the experience, because it is such a unique opportunity.
“This time, we brought my grandson,” she said. “Another time, I brought my friend, and another time, my neighbor.”
Ms. Frabasile has long loved the Chinese culture and the spirituality found in it, which gives her inner peace.
“I keep coming again and again because I just love it,” Ms. Frabasile said.
“I tell them this is something they shouldn’t miss, because it’s like a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” Ms. Frabasile said.
Reporting by NTD Television and Catherine Yang
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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.