NEW YORK—Shen Yun Performing Arts’ display of thousands of years of Chinese culture left those who saw it in awe, as it opened Wednesday night at the Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater in New York.
Sonia Cranston, a retired elementary school teacher, was impressed with the performance’s color and was overall enthralled. “It’s taking me on a journey and I’m learning a lot,” she said, adding that the performance teaches one about the history of China.
Shen Yun aims to revive China’s traditional culture through performing arts and music, using classical Chinese dance as its main medium of expression, the company’s website states.
Ms. Cranston said she was impressed with how the “actual dance incorporates with the digital portion of the screen itself,” referring to the backdrop that accompanies each piece.
The digital backdrop is full of movement and color and allows the dancer to interact with it. It shows scenes depicting ancient China, mountaintops, pastoral landscapes, and others.
Darnley Simon, a community coordinator for Housing Preservation & Development, also attended, calling Shen Yun, “very entertaining [and] very enlightening.”
“It’s very informative; it’s taking you back on a historical journey,” she said.
Shen Yun draws upon the vast repertoire of stories and legends from China’s 5,000-year-old civilization. Many of the stories have a message and display the inherent spirituality of the Chinese people that was nearly lost under six decades of communist rule.
“I’m enjoying the costumes, the sights, the way they utilize the screen,” Ms. Simon added. “You feel like you’re part of it; like you’re over there … when it’s happening.” Shen Yun is “combining both the old and the new,” she added
Costuming is also an integral part of each performance. The company says that the costume creations are hand-designed and take inspiration from clothes worn in several Chinese dynasties as well as the different ethnic groups in the nation.
Reporting by Joshua Philipp and Jack Phillips.
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.
For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org