HOUSTON—The 5,000 years of a divine culture that flourished in China will be brought back to life in music and dance by Shen Yun Performing Arts as part of the New York-based company’s 2014 world tour.
Established in 2006, Shen Yun draws from award-winning artists around the globe, seeking to revive a culture that was once lost.
The tour will launch this year from Houston with ten shows from Dec. 23-Jan. 1 at the Jones Hall for the Performing Arts.
According to Shen Yun’s website, classical Chinese dance is at the heart of what Shen Yun does.
“Known for its incredible flips and spins, and its gentle elegance, it is one of the most rigorous and expressive art forms in the world,” the website states.
Shen Yun’s performances also include folk and ethnic dances transporting the audience from the plains of Mongolia to a seaside Dai village. Inspirational story-based dances tell the tale of heroine Mulan and dramatic scenes from epics like Journey to the West.
Music is a distinct part of Shen Yun’s performances, and one unique aspect is the orchestra.
Accompanying Shen Yun’s dancers is a live orchestra blending the two great traditions of East and West.
“Ancient Chinese instruments such as the soul-stirring erhu and the delicate pipa lead the melody on top of a full orchestra of Western strings, percussion, woodwinds, and brass,” according to Shen Yun’s website.
“The Western orchestra with its energy and grandeur, and the Chinese instruments with their distinct tones and styles, create a dramatic new sound.”
In addition to the orchestra, vocal soloists perform original Chinese pieces in the bel canto style.
“Each program is heightened by several moving selections from our singers. Their impassioned songs give voice to hopes that have shaped Chinese culture for centuries,” the website states.
Last season, Shen Yun staged 354 shows in 18 countries around the world.
For the 2014 season, four Shen Yun companies will simultaneously be on tour, with upcoming performances in Atlanta, Austin, and Quebec City from Dec 27-Dec 29, Little Rock on Jan. 2, and Dallas and Ottawa from Jan. 2-4.
Visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org for complete details.