Shen Yun Is Like ‘Reaching the Heavens,’ Says Actress

January 17, 2015

NEW YORK—Shen Yun Performing Arts lives true to its name, according to audience members at its Jan. 16 performance at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater.

“I felt like I was with them, and like I was in a different world reaching the heavens,” said actress Nikki Chawla.

Shen Yun translates from Chinese to “the beauty of divine beings dancing.” The performance of music and dance was started in 2006 in New York, according to the Shen Yun website, by a group of leading classical Chinese artists who shared a wish “to revive the true, divinely inspired culture of China and share it with the world.”

It was like the soul traveling.
— Actress Nikki Chawla
“I just felt like I was falling into each and every specific moment,” Chawla said, noting that between the dances, costumes, music, and vast backdrops, “It was all about their heart being in this journey. It was like the soul traveling.”

“I’m delighted,” she said. “I’m floating right now.”

Chawla attended the performance with a friend, Kunal Mahajan, an investment banker. He said, “I thought it was just really well done. The choreography was amazing, and the backdrops were amazing. It was just beautifully designed.”

Mahajan noted that he particularly enjoyed the digital backdrops, which create moving scenery and allow the dancers to interact with the backgrounds seamlessly. Mahajan said, “I’ve never seen anything like that done before.”

The dancers in Shen Yun are trained in classical Chinese dance. The art form includes a vast array of movements from subtle hand gestures to soaring flips, and is particularly unique for its deep ability to express different personalities and feelings.

According to Alan DeBoo, a senior IT network engineer, the feeling conveyed by the Shen Yun performers is unique in and of itself.

“They radiate almost an innocence that you can feel in the audience,” DeBoo said, noting his feeling that “they’re channeling their energy and everything on having a positive influence to others.”

“It’s uplifting,” he said. “You get enjoyment out of it, and it’s fun to see young people like this fulfilling their talents and, I’m sure, some dreams.”

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform around the world. For more information, visit

Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reaction since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.

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