Shen Yun, the show China doesn’t want you to see, returns to New York’s Lincoln Center – NY Daily News3 April, 2012 at 07:03 | Posted in Chinese culture, Shen Yun | Leave a comment
Tags: Chinese culture, classical Chinese dance, Shen Yun
Classical Chinese dance/acrobatics troupe, banned by China’s government, performs in April
By Gina Salamone / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Brightly colored costumes, amazing acrobatics and classical Chinese dance helped a performing arts group sell out five Lincoln Center shows in January.
For those that missed out, Shen Yun Performing Arts returns to the David H. Koch Theater April 18 through 22.
And ticket holders will see a show that the Communist Party of China does not want you to.
“This show is really one of the unique shows that can’t be seen in China because unfortunately a lot of authentic Chinese culture has been lost or destroyed under the Communist regime,” says Shen Yun master of ceremonies Kelly Wen.
“People of my generation grew up without a real deep understanding of what this culture is,” the 23-year-old adds. “My parents’ and even my grandparents’ generations have been through the Cultural Revolution. So they saw the before and after of what happened to China.”
Shen Yun is associated with the spiritual group Falun Gong, which the Chinese government banned in 1999.
The U.S. Department of State has cited reports by Non-Governmental Organizations that Chinese Communist Party officials have pressured venues and governments in Asia and Europe to cancel or delay Shen Yun performances.
At the same time, some reviews of Shen Yun shows have criticized the show as being “propaganda.”
“Calling Shen Yun ‘propaganda’ is like calling the movie ‘Schindler’s List’ anti-Nazi propaganda,” contends Shen Yun Promotions International spokeswoman Pia-Marie Norris. “ ‘Schindler’s List’ was a story about courage and compassion amidst horrible conditions. It is a moving and inspiring story.
“The same holds true for some of the pieces included in Shen Yun’s performance that depict great courage and faith among horrible conditions in modern-day China,” Norris says. “They are an inspiring testament to the values from traditional Chinese culture and their relevance in the modern day.”
Wen calls Chinese culture deeply spiritual. “It’s based on the foundations of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism, and a lot of those values like loyalty and wisdom have been passed down for generations, almost intact, right up until the Communist regime took over,” she says.
“And I think that’s really a shame because that 5,000 years of history set a strong spiritual and moral foundation for the Chinese people,” Wen adds. “Embedded in [the show] are those valuable lessons from history that I think resonate with people from all cultural backgrounds.”
Wen has been involved with Shen Yun since it was founded in New York in 2006 by Chinese artists from around the world. Before becoming master of ceremonies, she started out as a dancer during the group’s first tour in 2007.
My comment: For more information visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org