“The Beauty of Divine Beings Dancing” or Shen Yun is without a doubt the most aptly named production ever to grace a stage anywhere on earth or in the heavens. It is a dazzling spectacle of color, movement, grace, acrobatic skill and whimsical comedy performed by a remarkable cast of over fifty members plus a full orchestra that combines traditional Chinese instruments and percussion with Western instruments.
Each of the sixteen ensemble works that are performed in the show is like a moving painting by a skilled master interspersed with solos by a soprano, baritone and tenor with piano accompaniment as well as a duet with piano and Erhu (two string instrument played with a bow). Along with this are the sweeping panoramic vistas that are projected across the entire back of the stage with clever use of video that have characters flying from high above and landing on a set of stage-wide steps down stage (farthest from the audience) and then with a quick leap off the steps they fly back to the heavens. It is an evening of spectacle and wonderment with masterful costume changes for each segment.
In short, Shen Yun is 5,000 years of dancing refinement in which the result is the pure gold of artistry. It is flowing synchronicity of color and form. It is amazing acrobatics that will take your breath away. It is empowerment allowing a small minority to express their views. If you have never witnessed Shen Yun, then it is definitely something for you to experience. If you have been fortunate enough to have seen a show, take heart. Each year has a completely different show touring so you can have an entirely new experience.
The History of Shen Yun
For thousands of years, China was considered by its inhabitants to be “Shen Zhou” or “Divine Land” where deities and mortals intermingled. During this time Buddhists, Taoists and other religious disciplines were centermost to society. It is the country that had such profound philosophers as Confucius, Lao Tsu and Chuang Tsu among many. One of the prevailing practices was known as Falun Dafa which is based on three principles: Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance.
In 1949 the communist regime seized power in China and its first target was religion and philosophy which it felt was in contradiction to party policy. Even 64 years later the persecution has not ended. As recently as 1999 there have been continued crackdowns by the government to eradicate all resemblance of ancient culture and religions. In spite of this constant harassment, the people of China have kept their culture alive by the secret practice of Falun Dafa and occasional public protests against the regime.
In 2006, a group of leading classical Chinese artists came together in New York City with one mission, to revive the true and divine culture of ancient China. From these humble beginnings of a single company, the Shen Yun family has grown to four dance companies and four orchestras totaling 300 artists touring 20 counties and 100 cities. It is unfortunate to add that to this day, Shen Yun has never performed in China or Hong Kong and has been harassed around the world by agents of the Chinese Communist regime.
It is hoped that as time goes on the government of Communist China will realize the folly that oppression of an entire peoples and that through global communications will become part of the free global village. We are all now even more connected through communication and the arts then ever in the history of the world. Let us pray that the power of truth comes through so that all people may be free. This is the mission of Shen Yun.
Shen Yun is not just a show of acrobats, dancers and singers. It is an event that transcends history and shows what a new China can be. It is 5,000 years of carefully documented history up to the present in which you feel the performance. It is a political protest against tyranny.
Prude Alert: This is grade A top notch family entertainment that everyone from eight to eighty will enjoy. Make this a family experience that you will talk about for years to come.
Shooting From The Lip (My Last Words): Shen Yun dazzles, amazes, excites, illuminates and totally entertains from start to finish. If you have been saving your entertainment dollar for one great show, this is the one to spend it on.
There is still one show remaining for Shen Yun at the State Theatre at PlayhouseSquare on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. To purchase tickets for this show go to: http://tickets.shenyun.com/event/shen-yun-2014-cleveland or call (888) 974-3698. Shen Yun will also be appearing in Columbus, Ohio, Detroit Michigan and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania later this winter and spring. For further details, dates and times go to: http://tickets.shenyun.com/