What does the premier classical Chinese dance and music company, called Shen Yun, have in common with the Village of Rosemont, Ill.? For starters, they both are celebrating milestone anniversaries. Second, their origins are humble but their missions mighty. And, lastly the two shall come together on Valentine’s Day weekend when Shen Yun Performing Arts performs at the Rosemont Theatre on Feb. 13-14.
Shen Yun is celebrating its 10th anniversary. The company began in 2006 when a group of classically trained artists from around the world came together in the U.S. to form a school and touring company. Their mission was bold and heart-felt. They wanted to restore traditional Chinese culture through the arts and share it with the world, states Shen Yun’s website.
This ancient culture is considered a treasure of humanity, but it was almost completely destroyed by the communist regime in China, especially during the Cultural Revolution.
As Shen Yun is based in the state of New York, the performers can freely express this culture to its fullest and grandest extent, and with no overtones of communism.
“China was once known as the Celestial Empire, and its culture is believed to be divinely imparted,” states Shen Yun’s website. It spans 5,000 years and is brought to life by Shen Yun through 20 vignettes told by dance and music performed by a live orchestra.
The hallmarks of Shen Yun include dancing, music, and the radiant beauty of the entire performance. The types of dance (classical Chinese, folk, and ethnic) tell stories of ancient tales, legends, and of famous, beloved characters, as well as modern-day heroes.
The orchestra masterfully creates just the right atmosphere for the dance dramas. What sets this orchestra apart from others is its ability to combine the unique sounds of traditional Eastern instruments with the grandeur of a Western Orchestra.
Shen Yun’s mission and school continue to draw top-level artists. The enterprise has grown from one company using recorded orchestral music to currently four companies (New York, International, World, and Touring) each having a full live orchestra.
Shen Yun’s ambitious vision have reached ten of thousands. Every year, Shen Yun has an entirely new show performing in some 20 countries and 100 cities in top venues, like the renowned Lincoln Center in New York and the London Coliseum. Audiences report being inspired and uplifted by the shows.
Rosemont, too, has much to celebrate on its 60th anniversary as an incorporated village. “Rosemont has grown tremendously from its original state as an unincorporated area in 1956 to the entertainment destination it has become today 60 years later,” said Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens in a press release.
The village forefathers’ vision was to make their humble community into a thriving economical success, explains the Village of Rosemont’s website. Community entrepreneurship was built on the premise that the newly constructed O’Hare International Airport, only 5 minutes away, could bring people and businesses to their village, if they planned accordingly. And it did.
Rosemont describes itself today as an entertainment suburb, and a “thriving mecca of tourism, entertainment and convention and trade-show business.” Some 75,000 people per day visit to enjoy “the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, a wide variety of hotel and dining options, the Allstate Arena, Rosemont Theatre, the entertainment district, MB Financial Park, and the new Fashion Outlets of Chicago,” states the Village website.
It’s population has grown from 84 in 1956, to 4,236 in 2013, and all reside in a gated community while making their livelihoods in the village. Its geographic size has grown, but is still small, as it only encompasses 2.5 square miles. Yet, in that space there lies a thriving community with the central threads, as their forefathers envisioned, being the connection of Rosemont to all the major transportation systems in and around O’Hare and Chicago.
To give a preview of the upcoming Valentine’s Day weekend performances of Shen Yun at the Rosemont Theatre, here are a few examples of audience feedback posted on the Shen Yun’s website guest book.
“Even my 12 and 14 year-old video-game-lover boys loved it. Enough said,” writes Valeria Bass.
Carol Campbell writes: “The show was really phenomenal. Everyone should see it at least once, because of its overall beauty, perfection of each individuals’ movements, [and the] complete synchronicity of the group and technological level.”
“The experience was amazing and memorable. My mother is from China and she misses the old tradition. This experience brought tears to her eyes,” Lanny Wong writes.
Sonja Y. says, “I love it! I go every year since I first saw it, and my dream is to join the touring company. Best show ever!”
“My partner and I had front row seats DEAD center, so we had an extra special experience. Aside from the obviously beautiful colors and historical preservative story line plots, we were able to enjoy watching the footing of the dancers and their remarkable unmatched skill. It was an experience that I will never forget,” states William Vought.
Marcie Cortinas explains: “Of course I’ve seen Shen Yun! I’m only 21 years old, and I studied so much of the Chinese culture. I was so happy to see it come to life before my very eyes! I have never been so happy leaving a performance before. I plan on seeing it when it comes back around next year!! Thank you so much for sharing such greatness.”
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.