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World travelers ask, what is Shen Yun? (photos)

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World travelers who are coming to San Francisco, and people who already live here, should check out Shen Yun.

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But what is Shen Yun?

Glad you asked. Because it's something all world travelers should know about.

At the beginning of this year, New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts opened its all-new 2012 programs at the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House.

The 2-hour show is composed of about 20 short pieces. These range from classical Chinese dances and folk dances, to story-telling dances. There's also a Chinese violin solo, and opera vocal singing.

In the 2 hours of fast-paced programs, world travelers will go through 5000 years of Chinese history, all the while experiencing various dynasties and various regions with various ethnic groups.

All from the comfort of their theater seat.

See also this article by this Examiner: SF sees Shen Yun, 5,000 years in the making, now in San Francisco (photos)

There's nothing to beat it.

Every aspect of the Shen Yun show is exquisite: whether that's the music, the dance, the singing, the backdrop, the costumes, or the actual stories themselves.

According to the Shen Yun website, all the music, dance, costumes and animated backdrops are original pieces created by Shen Yun's own artists.

The hundreds of stunningly beautiful silk costumes in the show alone make it a world-class fashion show worth seeing. These delicately-hand-made costumes showcase the traditional fashions in China. They include the attire of emperors, warriors, scholars, dancers in the imperial palace, bodyguards and even heavenly maidens, all from one dynasty to another, and from one ethnicity to another.

If you're lucky enough to sit close to the stage, you will get the chance to see the fine details of the costumes themselves. There's the floral embroidery on the female dancers’ silk dresses and there's a plethora of shining ornaments and hair-pieces on the ladies that originated at the time of different dynasties.

The story-telling dance on the legendary Monkey King made many people in the audience laugh. In this short piece, the mighty Monkey King jumped back and forth between heaven and earth--unsure of where he rightly belonged.

The male dances at the Shen Yun show were physical, explosive, and full of energy. They leaped into the sky as if there was no gravity, and landed softly as if they were landing on cotton pillows. The difficult jumping, tumbling, and flipping movements they accomplished was done with great skill.

Each Shen Yun program has a deep meaning and a beautiful story that is uplifting, moving and inspiring. The entire show, which shows the history of 5,000 years of Chinese civilization, will leave you thinking long after the show is over.

No wonder many say that Shen Yun is a show that has to be seen at least once in the lifetime.

You won't be disappointed.

World travelers can reach SFO by checking for deals on www.kayak.com.

Shen Yun will continue to perform at San Francisco War Memorial Opera House on Saturday and Sunday, Jan 7 and 8. For tickets, please call 888-633-6999 or visit ShenYun2012.org.

Shen Yun is on its world tour in over 100 cities. If you are going to be traveling to a different city, check for a show in your destination at ticketingbox.com.

See here for a story on how San Francisco residents reacted to the show:

SF asks: Shen Yun, how did San Franciscans react? ...

See here for other Shen Yun stories by this Examiner:

SF sees Shen Yun, 5,000 years in the making, now in...

Shen Yun, 5,000 years in the making, now in San...

Follow Sheila on Twitter (@Sheilamba)

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