About Shen Yun Performing Arts
Shen Yun Performing Arts is the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and Music Company. It performs classical Chinese dance, ethnic and folk dance, and story-based dance, with orchestral accompaniment and solo performers. For 5,000 years, divine culture flourished in the land of China. Through breathtaking music and dance, Shen Yun is reviving this glorious culture. Shen Yun, or 神韻, can be translated as: “The beauty of divine beings dancing.”
The foundation of a Shen Yun performance is classical Chinese dance, a complex system that is highly expressive and technically challenging. There’s an extraordinary degree of athleticism, a magical display of art that we see from the dancers. The performing arts company also includes ethnic and folk dances that range from the plains of Tibet to the sprawling plains of Mongolia, and the entire performance is accompanied by a live orchestra. The unique ensemble combines the beauty and distinct sounds of Chinese music with the precision and power of a Western symphony orchestra. It is heartening to see that lovely mixture of deep culture from Chinese traditional dance.
Shen Yun was established in New York in 2006 by elite Chinese artists. They came together with a shared vision and passion—to revive the lost world of traditional Chinese culture and share it with everyone. Shen Yun now has seven equally large companies that tour the world simultaneously, bringing an all-new performance of dance, costumes, animated backdrops, singing, and music to over 150 theaters every year. Their first performances in New Zealand took place in 2008. It’s one of the largest, most comprehensive touring shows in the world, rivalling the ubiquity of Cirque du Soleil.
The storytelling that you see through the dance is really quite compelling. But it’s also a celebration of the diversity of Chinese history and culture. Traditional Chinese culture is described as divinely inspired because it is believed that mortals and gods once coexisted in the land of China. Since the beginning of Chinese civilization 5,000 years ago, the culture has incorporated a range of spiritual beliefs including Taoism and Buddhism in ancient times and Falun Dafa—a spiritual practice in the Buddhist tradition—in modern times.
The particularly rigorous training of Shen Yun artists allows them to carry out flips one after another and perform enchanting extensions, they also draw their inspiration from the practice of Falun Gong, a traditional Chinese cultivation discipline for the body and the mind aimed at raising one’s moral character. For thousands of years, ancient Chinese culture placed great emphasis on the divine. But after the Chinese Communist Party took power in 1949, the regime has systematically destroyed the ancient Chinese culture. Shen Yun aims to keep this tradition alive today, portraying values such as faith, benevolence, and respect for the divine. The spiritual connotation displayed by Shen Yun has resonated with the audience.