NEW YORK—Shen Yun Performing Arts took medical doctor Alejandro Penzo to “higher levels … away from the reality that is around me,” he said Thursday night at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater.
The New York-based company revives China’s ancient culture, which is believed to be divinely inspired.
“The sense I get from the movements,” Dr. Penzo said of the classical Chinese dancers, “is there is something that is not terrestrial; it’s sublime.”
In classical Chinese dance, posture and bearing convey the inner realm of the dancer. Dancers train to improve not only their bodies, but also their minds, to have the greatest effect on stage. The dance form is also imbued with the culture, as its development has been intertwined with the Chinese legends and performances for thousands of years.
Real estate investors John Pavon and Elizabeth Estrella were also in the audience Thursday. Mr. Pavon has practiced martial arts for many years. A component of classical Chinese dance involves difficult flips, jumps, and turns, and it has its own set of training methods. Martial arts and classical Chinese dance have a shared root, explains Shen Yun’s website.
“Excellent moves,” Mr. Pavon said of the dancers. “I can see there’s a lot of practice involved. I find it fascinating.”
He said he wanted to learn more about Chinese history and Shen Yun “fills in all the gaps.”
Ms. Estrella agreed. She said she was also fascinated and impacted by the dances that portray universal themes of good versus evil and the courage of a spiritual meditation discipline known as Falun Gong, whose practitioners have been persecuted in China for over a decade.
Boa Anerges, a financial consultant, said the message he came away with is that traditional Chinese culture is resilient—it will prevail. The rich heritage was nearly lost when the Chinese Communist Party initiated the Great Cultural Revolution in the 1960s, discarding traditional values.
Mr. Anerges said he had great expectations coming to Shen Yun, and the performance was still “much beyond my expectations.”
“It was excellent,” he said. “The Chinese culture is, in fact, much more interesting and greater than we conceived.”
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.