WASHINGTON—Shen Yun Performing Arts’ message of good triumphing over evil was lauded by Cathy Hughes, the Founder and Chairperson of Radio One, TV One, and Interactive One, the largest African-American-owned and operated media company in the U.S. The New York-based Shen Yun played in Washington D.C. on Sunday evening, April 1.
Shen Yun is “the most beautiful production I have seen in years,” she said, while lauding the production’s use of “colors and costumes.”
“I’m going to tell everyone,” she said, adding that when it comes back, it should “sell out every night.”
Shen Yun’s main medium of expression is classical Chinese dance, which according to the company, is one of the most comprehensive dance systems in the world.
Classical Chinese dance is said to have a history of several thousand years and was passed down through each Chinese dynasty, the company states. Over the years, it has become a comprehensive system of dance that boasts a variety of unique rhythms, movements, and meanings.
“To see them do what they were doing was just incredible,” she said, noting the dancers’ athleticism.
Costuming plays a big role in each production. The company designs all of the costumes, drawing inspiration from the multitude of Chinese dynasties and various ethnic groups within China, according to the company’s website.
Americans, Ms. Hughes said, “are a very fashion oriented culture” and many audience members would be enthralled with Shen Yun’s “color combinations and the silks, and the fabrics and the fans, and the hair dress.”
The spirituality of traditional China is often cited in Shen Yun’s performances, using Chinese stories and legends to express this.
“The whole spirituality issue of good always conquering evil, I think, is so very important,” Ms. Hughes said, while adding that the African American community would appreciate these values.
Shen Yun also depicts the current and ongoing persecution of Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, in China. Falun Dafa is a mediation practice that is based on truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.
Ms. Hughes said the inclusion of this aspect in the performance “was so important I think in the piece to help us better understand that [Shen Yun] could be performed in America, but not in their own country.”
Reporting by Lisa Fan and Jack Phillips.
Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world, with a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company will next perform in Madison, Wisconsin, April 4-5.
For more information visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org