NEW YORK—Shen Yun Performing Arts enthralled the audience at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch theater on Sunday evening, including three generations of Mr. Louis Aidala’s family.
Mr. Aidala is an attorney at Baratta, Baratta & Aidala LLP, which is based in Manhattan. He was experiencing Shen Yun for the third time.
“I brought my daughter and her daughter,” he said.
Shen Yun is a New York-based dance and music company that presents the 5,000-year-old Chinese culture, one of the oldest in the world, on stage.
Unfortunately, the high-level performance cannot be seen in the homeland of many of the performers, since China is ruled by the Chinese Communist Party. Shen Yun draws upon the ancient culture’s spiritual traditions, which isn’t allowed under the party.
“The company’s mission is to use performing arts to revive the essence of Chinese culture—traditionally considered a divinely inspired civilization. Since the CCP is officially an atheist regime, it is afraid of the freedom of expression this arts company enjoys in the West,” explains the company’s website.
Mr. Aidala expressed surprise over Shen Yun not being allowed to perform in China.
“It’s interesting because it’s such a positive thing. You would think, seeing how great it is as opposed to having any negativity [that the company would be allowed to perform there],” he said.
Fortunately, the Aidala family was able to enjoy Shen Yun in New York, with Mr. Aidala introducing his daughter, Mrs. Lori Bambina, and her daughter, Miss Julianna Bambina, to the cultural revival.
“We were just saying we didn’t know which [dance] to pick as our favorite, there were so many—the peacock one, the magic brush,” said Mrs. Bambina.
“We were talking about how they use the screen—it was so dynamic and intriguing. My daughter was saying ‘Wow, this is cool!’ throughout the performance. She really enjoyed it.”
Her daughter said she liked how athletic the dancers were.
“It was really cool as the dancers did flips and turns and they were jumping around, and there were pretty dresses, playing piano, singing,” she said. “It was really nice.”
Shen Yun starts off with classical Chinese dance, an ancient art form that has spawned a number of performance arts, such as acrobatics. The dancers are accompanied by a unique orchestra that melds a Western orchestra with traditional Chinese instruments, such as the 4,000-year-old erhu, or Chinese violin. These components are further bolstered by handcrafted, colorful costumes and a digital backdrop.
Mr. Aidala was also accompanied by his wife, Mrs. Marian Aidala, a retired school teacher, who felt the performers’s elegance and grace.
She and her husband also commented specifically about the digital backdrops, which Shen Yun’s website describes as “magical windows into completely different realms,” such as “vast open grasslands” and “the stately elegance of Tang Dynasty pavilions.”
“The digital aspect was fantastic,” Mr. Aidala said.
“We go to a lot of theater performances, but I’ve never seen a back-drop like that,” Mrs. Aidala added. “It came alive.”
Reporting by Ananda West and Zachary Stieber
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.
Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reaction since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.