NEW YORK—David Cook, an executive producer at Al Roker Entertainment, who has worked on culinary shows for the Cooking Channel and other networks, was impressed by the digital backdrop and many other elements of Shen Yun Performing Arts.
Mr. Cook attended Shen Yun’s performance on Sunday, Jan. 12 at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater. He was amazed at the way dancers seemed to jump out of the backdrop’s ancient Chinese scenes and onto the stage. He said the backdrop, which extends the stage into colorful scenery, added to the performance.
Alex York, who works in finance, attended the performance with Mr. Cook, and he said: “We brought our kids, and I think it’s nice. It’s something completely different … I think they really enjoyed it.” Mr. Cook noted that it was good to get the kids away from the television to experience China’s culture.
The New York-based company revives 5,000 years of Chinese culture nearly lost during the Chinese Communist Party’s Great Cultural Revolution. Mr. Cook and Mr. York were especially surprised to learn that Shen Yun cannot be seen in China.
The Shen Yun website explains: “China was once known as Shen Zhou—The Divine Land. This profound name describes a land where deities and mortals coexisted, and a belief that the divine transmitted a rich culture to the people of the earth.
“Over its past 60 years of rule, the communist regime has treated traditional Chinese values—centered on the idea of harmony between heaven and earth—as a threat to its existence.”
Mr. York mentioned something else he learned from the presenters at the performance—how to say “I love Shen Yun” in Chinese, “wo ai Shen Yun.”
Shen Yun features the world’s best classical Chinese dancers. This dance form has been passed down over thousands of years, bound in many ways to the ancient culture.
Mr. Cook said, “The dancers were really amazing.”
He was also impressed by the “erhu” soloist, Xiaochun Qi. The erhu is a stringed instrument similar to a violin. While Shen Yun features soloists, the Shen Yun Orchestra provides the music for all the dances. It blends classical Chinese instruments with Western instruments for a unique sound.
Reporting by Hannah Cai 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.