On Jan. 8, the world-renowned Shen Yun Performing Arts will be returning to Philadelphia with an all-new program of classical Chinese dance and music. Since its inception in 2006, the New York-based company has mesmerized Philadelphian audiences and burgeoned from one to four companies that tour the world simultaneously, traveling to over 100 cities in 19 countries.
Shen Yun showcases 5,000 years of Chinese history and culture with an exciting program of ancient legends, dances from China’s many dynasties and ethnic groups, as well as stories of modern-day heroism. The performance perfectly complements Philadelphia, a city of vibrant culture and history. This year, the company will have four performances at the Academy of Music, a celebrated historical landmark as well as America’s oldest grand opera house.
Every year, Philadelphians who have the pleasure of seeing Shen Yun praise the performance for its artistry and beauty. The company’s final performance in Philadelphia last year was completely sold out as audiences eagerly bought tickets.
“It was wonderful, the costumes were beautiful, the dancers were beautiful, the sopranos were beautiful—everything,” said Laura Morissey, who came with her granddaughter to see Shen Yun in Philadelphia last year as a special Mother’s Day treat.
Another audience member, Natasha Brotzman, said, “We were endlessly impressed, just endlessly.”
What makes Shen Yun particularly special—besides just the aesthetic and musical effect—is its ability to uplift and inspire, instilling people with a sense of hope and faith in the divine.
“I found it inspirational. I’m leaving here a little lighter,” Nick Sucarato said, after seeing Shen Yun with his girlfriend, Martha Moore.
Ms. Moore commented, “I thought it was beautiful, just beautiful … the costumes, the colors—it’s magical.”
Sheryl Eckhart, who came to see the show with her friend Gale Leonard, said, “The show was spectacular—it just made us smile, it made us relax. The beauty of it, the precision of everybody, it was really just a magnificent show.”
Within the stories portrayed on stage, Ms. Leonard saw a profound spirituality that she felt Americans lack. Recognizing the importance of the moral values like compassion and faith that were conveyed by the performance, she said, “[Shen Yun] is a good lesson for life.”
“I would have to say, in my whole life, this is probably one of the most meditative shows I’ve ever seen,” Ms. Leonard said. “I just felt so relaxed and peaceful watching this. It was a great, great experience.”
Some audience members also expressed their regret that Shen Yun can travel anywhere around the world except China—the very country being displayed so beautifully on stage—due to the persecution and suppression of traditional culture and values in mainland China today.
“I think it’s a shame they can’t perform these dances in China right now,” said Sara Reath, who visited the theater with her close friend Terry Nolan. “We’re lucky that we get to experience them,” she said.
Impressed by Shen Yun, Sara Reath urged everyone to attend. “Definitely come to see it. It’s a shame there’s only three days of it,” Ms. Reath said.
Shen Yun Performing Arts will perform three days for four performances at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia from Friday, Jan. 8, to Sunday, Jan. 10, before traveling to Knoxville, Tennessee, and St. Petersburg, Florida.
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.
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.