Shen Yun: Traditional Chinese Culture Back in the Greater LA Area

March 28, 2017 Updated: March 28, 2017

LOS ANGELES—The world’s premiere classical Chinese dance and music company, Shen Yun Performing Arts, is back in the Greater Los Angeles area to celebrate the 5,000-year, rich, traditional culture of China, a country that was once called “The Divine Land.”

Since Shen Yun’s founding in 2006 in New York, the company has received a warm welcome in California and many other places in the United States and around the globe, becoming an annual tradition.

“By breathing new life into ancient cultural traditions on stage, Shen Yun Performing Arts is helping to embrace understanding and appreciation of the arts. There is no doubt that its efforts will continue to enrich our community for many years to come,” wrote U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein in a letter to Shen Yun.

U.S. Member of Congress Judy Chu also extended heartfelt congratulations to Shen Yun for returning to Southern California.

“This group has performed for millions of people across the world in the top theaters of the countries they have visited,” wrote Rep. Chu in a letter. “It is a pleasure to have these performers bring their art to our community … I extend my best wishes for Shen Yun Performing Arts’ continued success.”

Shen Yun has received at least 20 letters and certificates from federal, state, and local California officials congratulating the company on its 2017 season.

“I am proud to recognize Shen Yun for their commitment and dedication to presenting classical Chinese dance to contemporary audiences. The performances uplift humanity through messages of courage, virtue, and harmony,” read a certificate from the Los Angeles City Council.

On Sunday, Shen Yun finished a series of performances in Santa Barbara, Calif., where Emmy Award-winning actress Jean Smart attended with her adopted daughter for the fourth year in a row.

“I love this show myself, and I like sharing it with my daughter, because she was born in China. I think it’s important for her to see the history of China,” said Ms. Smart.

Every year, Shen Yun creates an all-new production, complete with original choreography in classical Chinese dance, ethnic and folk dances, and story-based dances, as well as original music compositions for its live orchestra, colorful costumes and unique props, an interactive digital backdrop, and talented musical soloists. A pair of bilingual emcees introduce and provide eye-opening context and background knowledge for each vignette.

“It’s an incredibly beautiful, entertaining show,” said Ms. Smart. “I think this [year] was my favorite one. I thought it was the best one I’ve seen so far.”

Oscar Award-winning editor of the film “Titanic,” Richard Harris, also attended a Santa Barbara Shen Yun performance. He was impressed with the background technology, which made the dancers appear to leap into the air and fly away or swim to the bottom of the ocean. He also appreciated the artists’ skills.

“I just love the dancers. They’re incredible,” he said. “The movements are very smooth. It’s like they’re on ice.”

Mr. Harris said he was sad to hear that Shen Yun is not able to be seen inside China, but he could tell the performers were glad to have the opportunity to perform elsewhere, since they always had a happy smile on their faces.

“It is gorgeous what they’ve done here,” he said. “The production is terrific.”

The Shen Yun experience begins Tuesday evening, March 28 in Thousand Oaks. Performances will also be held in Claremont, Costa Mesa, Hollywood, Long Beach, and Los Angeles, ending on Sunday, April 30.

However, tickets are going fast, so those who still wish to see Shen Yun are encouraged to hurry, since performances in past years have often sold out.