“Through the universal language of music and dance, Shen Yun weaves a wondrous tapestry of heavenly realms, ancient legends, and modern heroic tales, taking you on a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese culture. Its stunning beauty and tremendous energy leave audiences uplifted and inspired.
A Shen Yun performance features the world’s foremost classically trained dancers, a unique orchestra blending East and West, and dazzling animated backdrops—together creating one spectacular performance.”
I was fortunate enough to attend a performance of Shen Yun downtown last night with my best friend, Cassie! Despite wanting to go last year, this was our first time seeing this composition of Chinese classical dance. I only wish we would have been able to take some photos of the performance!
The show was split up into 11 dances in the first half, and 10 dances in the second half, all of which were introduced by the two MC’s of the night–once in English and once in Chinese. Every detail was meticulously prepared for. The costumes were the most stunning I have ever seen in a production, with bright colors, hair adornments, and long, silky sleeves. I counted more than 8 female group outfit changes in the first half alone!
The orchestra is made up of a combination of Western (percussion, woodwinds, brass, and string instruments) and Eastern (erhu and pipa) sounds. The production itself originates from New York, where many, if not all, of the dancers attended Fei Tian Academy of Arts. Although the show would be strictly forbidden in China (especially due to its portrayal of Falun Gong), it is well-renowned in countries all over the world.
An interactive video backdrop allowed the stories to transcend past the stage. There were three steps leading up to the background where dancers would frequently “jump” onto the screen and be seen floating away, or drawing up a historical/legendary story.
- When they lifted the curtain at the beginning of the first and second half, the floor was covered in that thick, vapory-smoke. The dancers seemingly grew out of the floor and their dresses spun the smoke up and away! It really was quite magical.
- The Chopstick Dance
- Learning about the different legends and historical stories of Ancient Chinese Civilizations
- The soloist’s erhu stage
Overall, I would highly encourage you to see this show if it comes your way. The tickets are a bit steep (it was $57 for some of the highest-up seats), but I promise you, it is worth it. In addition, the show changes every year, so you can see it every year with new content!
All pictures are the property of Shen Yun. I have shared them for informational and inspirational purposes, as the audience is unable to take any forms of photography.