NEW YORK—Shen Yun Performing Arts graced the stage at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater on Sunday afternoon, pleasing the sold-out audience.
“The show was fantastic, absolutely fantastic,” proclaimed Theresa M. Lyons, who has a diverse portfolio, including a Master of Science degree in Chemistry from Yale University, and now owns a global strategic consulting firm in Flushing.
“The cultural impression is what impressed me the most,” said Dr. Lyons. “To be able to see 5,000 years of Chinese history … it was fantastic.”
New York-based Shen Yun crisscrosses the globe, reviving the almost lost 5,000 year-old Chinese culture, according to its website. This culture, thought to be divinely inspired, was all but demolished by communist rule in China.
“Sophisticated dance techniques, an orchestra joining instruments East and West, beautiful costumes, and a stunning back drop—this is Shen Yun at first glance. But digging deeper, one discovers a sea of traditional Chinese culture. Mortals and divine beings merge on stage as one. Principles such as benevolence and justice, propriety and wisdom, respect for the heavens, and divine retribution, all come to life, washing over the audience. Originating from Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism, these ideals are the essence of traditional Chinese culture,” explains the company’s website.
“I would love to bring my clients to watch this show,” said Dr. Lyons, adding that she works in Asia and appreciates being able to see this “wonderful expression” of culture in the United States.
The strategic consulting firm owned by Dr. Lyons, Lyons & Associates, helps companies with marketing development and business planning, among other things
Dr. Lyons said “it was great to have a live orchestra,” which combines classical instruments from both the West and China, including the 4,000 year-old erhu, also known as the two-stringed Chinese violin.
Several dances stood out to her, including the “beauty of the artistry and the twirling” in Snowflakes Welcoming Spring, which symbolically represents winter changing into summer.
“It is important to understand and appreciate nature,” pondered Dr. Lyons. “So spirituality can be involved in nature. And the appreciation of the Chinese culture of the seasons, winter, spring, it is something that comes across, and can really make you reflect on your own life.”
Another dance Dr. Lyons enjoyed was How the Monkey King Came to Be, portraying the birth out of a rock of the Monkey King, “the central character in China’s classic novel Journey to the West,” according to Shen Yun’s program. “He has magical powers that allow him to travel freely between Heaven and Earth,” and gets in a debacle with a group of fairies in Heaven’s peach orchard, leading to a humorous and profound series of events.
Dr. Lyons said she was taking home multiple positive ideas from the performance: “Just a sense of happiness. A sense of wonderment. Being able to see people dance all over the stage. Something that is fantastic and gives you a sense of energy.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Zachary Stieber.
Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world, with a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. Upcoming performances in the United States include Chattanooga, Tennessee on April 24, and Columbus, Ohio on April 26 and April 27.
For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.