WASHINGTON, D.C. — After completing seven performances at Washington D.C.’s prestigious Kennedy Center, artists from Shen Yun Performing Arts’ New York Troupe were showered with praise from theatergoers and VIP guests.
Audience members marveled at the vibrant colors, acrobatics, music, and choreography; the performances received special recognition from Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Virginia Attorney General Jason S. Miyares, and community liaison officer for Northern Virginia, Patti Menders.
Founded in 2006, Shen Yun Performing Arts is the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music company. Based in New York, the company aims to revive traditional, ancient culture and values through breathtaking and immersive performances — showcasing what China was like prior to the ravages of communist rule.
Since its inception, the company has performed in more than 150 cities worldwide — including in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Australia — captivating audiences with intricate and colorful costumes, ancient legends, and modern accounts of religious persecution.
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“It is with great joy that I recognize today’s Shen Yun performance ~ China Before Communism,” said Attorney General Miyares in a letter of special recognition addressed to the performing arts troupe on Jan. 27.
“The diversity of our state is one of our many strengths. I continue to appreciate all the values and great culture that Chinese Americans bring to our big Virginia family,” Miyares added.
Composed of a large ensemble of talented dancers, musicians, and vocalists, Shen Yun has eight equally-sized troupes that perform and travel around the world simultaneously — working together to create a truly immersive and visually stunning experience that brings 5,000 years of Chinese heritage and tradition onstage.
The dancers perform graceful and athletic movements, bringing to life stories of ancient dynasties, traditional ethnic dances, legendary figures, and modern-day China. They are accompanied by a live orchestra that blends classical Western and Chinese instruments to create a unique and soul-stirring soundscape.
Patti Menders, who works as a community liaison officer for Northern Virginia in the Office of the Attorney General, presented a letter of commendation from the State Attorney’s Office to Shen Yun’s local organizers in Virginia, and thanked them for putting the show together.
Menders, who attended the performance on Jan. 27, told reporters that the performance was fantastic. “The artistry, the vibrance, the colors, the creativity — it was incredible … Family, faith, it was funny; there was so much about it that was wonderful,” she said.
‘The vastness of Chinese culture is unbelievable’
One audience member, Michelle Reid, shared with reporters how much she enjoyed the performances, making special note of the “short and delicate dance dramas” that “kept the audience engaged.”
Reid, who works as the Superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia, said she was amazed at the vastness of Chinese culture, and lamented at how the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has “destroyed such a beautiful culture and long history, depriving people of the right to inherit such a rich and wonderful heritage.”
“This makes me cherish the freedom I enjoy in the United States,” Reid said, adding that the show’s colors, acrobatics, and music were “gorgeous and refreshing, and full of artistic beauty,” and though “communism is very dark and evil, Chinese culture is beautiful and peaceful.”
One of the defining features of Shen Yun performances is its use of high-tech digital backdrops. The backdrops are synchronized with the live performers to create an illusion of seamless transitions between different scenes and locations. This helps to transport the audience to a world of ancient China — full of vibrant landscapes and awe-inspiring landmarks.
Another highlight of Shen Yun performances is the rich cultural and historical background of the dances. Each dance tells a story or expresses a cultural value, such as courage, compassion, and honor. Some of the dances also depict the spiritual aspect of Chinese culture — including scenes of heavenly realms, and traditional beliefs in the divine, and the afterlife.
In recent years, Shen Yun Performing Arts has become a global phenomenon — attracting sold-out crowds in venues around the world. The company’s mission of preserving and promoting traditional Chinese culture has resonated with audiences of all ages and backgrounds.
Whether you’re a lifelong fan of Chinese dance or a newcomer to the genre, Shen Yun is guaranteed to leave you feeling mesmerized, renewed, and inspired. And if you missed the performances at Kennedy Center, fret not — Shen Yun will return to the D.C. metro area, as well as Baltimore, in late April.
For more information on Shen Yun Performing Arts, including FAQs and ticketing information, please visit the official website here.