NEW YORK—It may surprise some to learn that a classical Chinese dance company is not allowed to perform in China. This is the case for New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts. But one theatergoer believes the “power of good” will eventually defeat the ban that is denying Chinese people of their true culture.
Edward Tricomi, a musician and top New York hair stylist saw Shen Yun Performing Arts with his wife Deborah Tricomi on Jan. 16 at Lincoln Center in New York. He thought it was “a shame” that dances involving spirituality could not be shown in China today.
“It [China] is missing out on something wonderful,” Mr. Tricomi said. “Eventually, that will correct itself. … Because that kind of thinking, only lasts so long, and eventually gets defeated—always!”
Ever since the communist ideology was imposed on Chinese society beginning in 1949, the Communist Party has been systematically purging traditional culture.
Multiple movements have been launched over the years, even as recently as 1999, in attempts to eradicate spiritual ideologies viewed to be threatening to the atheist Party.
Shen Yun’s mission is to revive China’s traditional divine culture, which is deeply rooted in Buddhist and Taoist beliefs, states the Shen Yun website. Throughout China’s 5,000-year cultural history traditional art forms that expressed moral virtues were a part of Chinese life.
What I really love about the performance is that it has a spiritual overtone to it, Mr. Tricomi said. “This show resonates the divine within you.”
The mini drama performances are inspired by stories and legends from China’s history, which had been documented and passed down. The dancers recount stories of traditional Chinese values such as loyalty, courage, and respect for the divine.
Mr. Tricomi said he has had the privilege of being involved in the dance community of the New York ballet, so he recognizes quality dance technique.
Mr. Tricomi is one of the world’s top hairdressers having worked with virtually every celebrity from Mick Jagger to Jimmy Fallon. It is said that a haircut from Edward Tricomi was Tim Burton’s inspiration for the film “Edward Scissorhands.” At least that’s now Mr. Tricomi’s nickname with his signature rapid-fire, dry-hair cutting technique. Warren Tricomi salons are located in New York, Connecticut, California, and Florida.
“The execution is incredible,” he said of the dancing. “The height that some of the dancers are getting is very, very high when they are doing a split.”
In classical Chinese dance, jumping, leaping, turning, and flipping combine with the postured movements, and the dancers’ ability to express deep emotion.
This combination of techniques is what distinguishes this complete dance system from ballet. The dancers are able to present stories of their traditional heritage without uttering a word. Through this universal language, audiences around the world can understand and enjoy Chinese culture.
“Eventually China will have these dances and these people there,” Mr. Tricomi said.
Reporting by Sherry Dong and Arleen Richards
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.