Shen Yun Enraptures and Captivates

April 20, 2012 Updated: April 20, 2012
Diego Rivera and Claire Gerard attend Shen Yun
Diego Rivera and Claire Gerard attend Shen Yun Performing Arts in New York's Lincoln Center. (Joshua Philipp/The Epoch Times)

NEW YORK—Two curtain calls, a standing ovation, and an encore from the last vocalist completed Shen Yun Performing Arts’ performance at Lincoln Center on Thursday April 19.

“It’s beautiful,” said muralist Claire Gerard. “I love how colorful it was.”

Classical Chinese dance is at the heart of the performance, one of the most comprehensive systems in the world with high training requirements, according to Shen Yun’s website. The dancers are adorned with handmade, colorful costumes, “from the Tang Dynasty’s ‘Raiment of Rainbows and Feathers’ to imperial dragon robes, phoenix coronets, and cloud capes.”

Ms. Gerard said “the costumes were extraordinary,” and appreciated how traditional the performance was.

New York-based Shen Yun tours the world with a mission to revive the 5,000-year-old, divinely inspired Chinese culture, after it was nearly destroyed by communist rule, according to the company.

A unique orchestra that melds Western and Chinese instruments accompanies the dancers, along with a digital backdrop that depicts different landscapes and scenes, from vast open Mongolian grasslands to the stately elegance of Tang Dynasty pavilions, with the website adding that “some scenes even transcend this world, entering a heavenly palace were fairies dance amidst mystical clouds or peering into the solemn majesty of a Buddhist paradise.”

Ms. Gerard said she really felt she experienced the ancient history depicted in the performance. “It’s amazing.”

‘An uplifting experience’

Jeanne McIntosh attends Shen Yun
Jeanne McIntosh attends Shen Yun Performing Arts in New York. (Courtesy of NTD Television)

Jeanne McIntosh, a retail professional, also attended Thursday evening’s performance.

“It was amazing. It was funny. It was elegant. It was something for everyone, young and old. It was an uplifting experience, one of a kind,” she said. She is already looking forward to having another “amazing experience” next year.

“I had fun watching the people around me,” she said. “The children were on the edge of their seats at different parts of the performance, different acts of the show. Everyone was just enraptured, captivated.”

Reporting by NTD Television and Zachary Stieber.

Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, tours the world on a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company will perform at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center through April 22.

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