Smithsonian Media VP Says Shen Yun’s Storytelling is Excellent

January 12, 2014 6:00 pm Last Updated: January 12, 2014 9:50 pm

NEW YORK—Alan Chu, senior vice president at Smithsonian Media, praised the storytelling, the unique costumes, and more after seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater in New York on Sunday.

“We really enjoyed the performance,” he said, as he stood with his wife, Annette. “The dance, the music, and the costumes were very unique. The costumes were very beautiful,” Mr. Chu said.

The New York-based company brings China’s rich and ancient culture to the stage, including the brilliantly colored and intricately embroidered costumes, which vary greatly as different dynasties and Chinese ethnic groups are portrayed on stage.

For example, the Yao ethnic clothing is characterized by pleated skirts and embroidered turbans. The Mongolian ethnic attire reflects the lifestyle of the people of the grasslands, with belts that are fashionable while providing support during long horse rides.

Mr. Chu’s employer, the Smithsonian, is renowned for its exploration and documentation of history. Mr. Chu said he was inspired by Shen Yun to learn more about Chinese history.

“The storytelling was very well done in terms of the sequencing,” he said. Shen Yun revives many Chinese legends and events recorded in history. It also includes heavenly scenes, as ancient Chinese culture is believed to be divinely inspired. 

The Shen Yun website explains that the stories from history “give abstract ideas—like loyalty, filial piety, selflessness, and tolerance—a concrete form. 

“Timeless favorites, these stories are treasure troves of ancient China; once opened, the traditional Chinese culture immediately reappears.”

Mrs. Chu praised the music: “The music was amazing—how they have the Eastern and the Western instruments.”

Shen Yun Performing Arts Orchestra is unique; it combines classical Chinese and Western instruments. Soloists also perform on classical Chinese instruments, such as the erhu, a two-string instrument played with a bow sometimes called a Chinese violin.

Mrs. Chu said: “We will certainly tell our son about it and hopefully we can show him more [about] the dance and the culture.”

Reporting by NTD Television and Tara MacIsaac

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

The 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.