Shen Yun Tells of China’s Literary Past

April 29, 2016

NEWARK, N.J.—Liz Cates, a regulator on Wall Street, has been going to the museum, and studying Chinese art and history of thousands of years. On April 29, she saw that come together, as Shen Yun Performing Arts presented 5,000 years of civilization in action, and she felt connected to the past.

Through music and dance, New York-based Shen Yun seeks to do just that—revive China’s lost culture.

Though the form of the performance was mostly classical Chinese dance, a form developed over thousands of years, Ms. Cates felt it encompassed much more.

The performance “is very literary as well as musical,” she said. The dances touched on subjects like calligraphy, in “Poets of the Orchid Pavilion,” which alludes to a group of scholars who produced one of China’s famous anthology of poems. It touched on myths, like in the bittersweet “Lady of the Moon.” It told of legends, like “The Mystical Udumbara” flower that blooms once every 3,000 years. She saw the famous literary figure, the Monkey King (from “Journey to the West”), borne from a rock at the top of Flower Fruit mountain.

Many of the classical Chinese dances Shen Yun performs each year originate in poetry as well. In introducing “Fairies of the Sea,” one of the emcees recites a poem on the subject before the audience is whisked away to the waves.

This format and style was different from what Ms. Cates has experienced with European dance and art, she said. She was learning new stories and accumulating new experiences. “It is very different, very unique.”

“It is very complex. I think it is just a taste of [the] depth of experiences that we are all going to have,” Ms. Cates said.

“I thought it was wonderful,” she said.

Reporting by NTD Television and Catherine Yang

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

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

Newark, United States
Shen Yun Touring Company