‘True Cultural Experience of Chinese Music and Dance and Values’

April 19, 2015 Updated: April 19, 2015

WASHINGTON—The enchanting Shen Yun returned to the Kennedy Center Opera House, on April 17, while at the same time, the cherry blossoms were attracting sightseers close by at the Tidal Basin in the nation’s capital. Shen Yun runs April 17-26.

“I really thought that from the beginning it really just pulled you in, emotionally got you sort of really excited at the beginning,” said high school teacher Karen Egan, who teaches Confucianism and Buddhism in her world religion class. She found a lot she could relate to her students.

Indeed, the beginning is majestic. You are transported to heaven, a sacred place. A golden chariot appears suddenly. The Creator arrives and speaks to the gods, telling them to depart from heaven and descend to the mortal world to establish the Middle Kingdom, what has come to be known as the Zhou Dynasty.

China is often said to be a semi-divine culture.

Describing the beginning, Ms. Egan said, “I would describe it as true cultural experience of Chinese music and dance and values all sort of tied together.”

Bruce Cabarle, president and founder of Concentric Sustainability Solutions, said he was fascinated by the harmonious movement of a large number of dancers. “The number of the dancers and the way in which they synchronized was also really quite amazing. There were a lot of people and a lot of things going on, on the stage, but it all moved as one,” said Cabarle, who graduated from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and owns his own environmental consulting company.

While Shen Yun productions are created in America, their inspiration comes from China’s 5,000 years of civilization. Shen Yun Performing Arts World Company is performing at the Kennedy Center, as one of the four companies that perform around the globe.

Spinning Pink Handkerchiefs

Actress Tiffany Hill, who works for the Monster Madhouse, a local DC area production company, said “I liked the one with the story of pink flower, where they were twirling the flowers. That was very pretty. I like that.”

This segment is the folk dance, Handkerchief Blossoms. Young ladies cheerily spin pink handkerchiefs on their fingertips in the cold of winter, and then they toss the handkerchiefs up and catch them perfectly each time. For Chinese, pink represents the plum blossoms, a sign that spring is coming in this story.

Her companion, Craig Bannister, who is a Web editor, marveled at the computer animation that is integrated with the story: “The background, how the actors jumped into the background and flew off and then they came back, that was just really well done. I was not expecting that at all.”

Shen Yun is a New York-based classical Chinese dance and music company with a mission to revive 5,000 years of the true Chinese culture and heritage that has been eroded and sometimes been systematically destroyed under communist rule.

Independent, nonprofit, and based in New York, Shen Yun draws upon world-class dancers and musicians to present the Chinese culture unmarred or influenced by the Chinese Communist Party.

This show cannot be seen in China at the present time.

With reporting by Gary Feuerberg, Jenny Jing, Xiaoxu Lin, Sherry Dong, Theresa You, and Yaning Liu

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