NEWARK—It was actor and comedian Tracy Morgan’s five-year-old daughter’s idea to bring her parents to watch Shen Yun Performing Arts.
“My daughter’s so smart to bring us here and to share this culture with us,” he said about the performance at New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark on May 2.
“It’s something new and it’s lovely.”
Morgan added that he and his wife, model and actress Megan Wollover, did not know what to expect from the performance, but it ultimately went “way beyond our expectations.”
Wollover described the performance as stunning and beautiful, while her daughter Maven’s verdict was simple: “I love the show, I love [Chinese] culture,” the 5-year-old said.
New York-based Shen Yun is the leading classical Chinese dance company, founded with a mission to revive 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture. Every year, it tours the world with an all-new program that boasts classical Chinese dance vignettes, performances by musical soloists, and stories told through dance.
Morgan, best known for his role on sitcom “30 Rock,” felt privileged to be able to absorb China’s divinely-inspired culture, which he described as like witnessing another world.
“You see these people representing for their culture and to share that with us,” he said. “[It’s] a beautiful thing to experience somebody else’s culture … Just being in the moment.”
Traditional Chinese culture is deeply rooted in the divine. Teachings from Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism have been transmitted over thousands of years, and its values and ideas permeate the country’s texts and lore. Shen Yun brings these stories onto the stage, sharing the spirit of China’s ancient civilization.
Morgan lauded the company’s mission to revive this culture, calling it a worthwhile endeavor.
The talent of Shen Yun’s dancers also astounded the comedian, who said there’s “one word to describe what they’re doing on that stage right now: Magic.”
The dancers were expressing themselves and their culture, he said, adding that it wasn’t something that just anyone could do.
Shen Yun performers are world-class classical Chinese dancers, having undergone years of rigorous training at New York-based Feitian Academy of the Arts, a performing arts school affiliated with the company. Classical Chinese dance is an ancient art form, involving a complete system of movements and expressions, including difficult tumbling techniques, including some originating from martial arts.
The comedian came out of the performance with a fresh outlook.
“Keep your mind open,” he said. “Everybody around the world, keep your mind open, and … share.”
With reporting by NTD Television.
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time and has covered audience reactions since the company’s inception in 2006.