NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — On April 1, Shen Yun performed to a sold-out audience at the historic and prestigious New Jersey State Theater — known as one of the state’s “treasures.” Thousands of theatergoers attended the show, eagerly anticipating the return of the renowned performing arts troupe.
Founded in 2006, Shen Yun Performing Arts is the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music company; showcasing the beauty and grace of ancient Chinese culture through dance, music, and theater. Based in New York, the company is composed by a group of talented artists from around the world —including musicians, soloists, choreographers, and dancers — with the goal of reviving and promoting 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture and values.
Shen Yun currently has eight equally-sized troupes that travel and perform around the world simultaneously; featuring a brand new performance each year.
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Local business owners, Kriz and Rawlson Ramroop, were first introduced to Shen Yun in New York five years ago, and were so enthralled that they decided to bring their family to see it this time. Ramroop has been recommending Shen Yun to his friends for years, saying, “I always tell them to see it.”
Kriz, his wife, expressed her delight with the performance by telling reporters, “We brought our kids, and it was excellent! I thought the second time was just as good as the first.”
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Renowned for their superb quality and exhilarating spirit, Shen Yun’s dancers have captivated audiences worldwide, and no New Jersey was no exception. According to reporters, showgoers were abuzz in the lobby during the show’s intermission, inspired to share their insight on how Shen Yun “brings to life a lost culture through beautiful art.”
‘You gotta come and see it’
Carol Ginsberg, another audience member, attended Shen Yun’s Saturday evening performance for the first time, and was left astounded.
“I’m amazed at the movement, the dexterity, the way the people can put something together and perform! It’s beautiful, it’s amazing, and I’m very happy that I’m here,” she said, while she called over her companion to take a picture together. Ginsberg also enthusiastically expressed her intention to recommend the show to her friends, saying, “You [all] gotta come and see it!”
Crystal and Jessie Urias, a pair of sisters who were experiencing Shen Yun for the first time, shared with reporters that they “were deeply moved” by the performance.
Crystal, who is studying journalism, remarked, “It was very beautiful. We were talking about the costumes, the dancing… and even the way the dancers expressed themselves!,” she said, adding, “There’s no dialogue: you knew what was going on by how they were dancing and portraying themselves.”
The two looked refreshed and happy, reporters noted, finding the experience to be unique and unlike anything they had seen before. Jessie had discovered Shen Yun on social media, saying, “It caught my attention!” with a smile. Crystal added, “She’s my sister, so she actually suggested that we go to the show together.”
A global phenomenon
Since its inception, Shen Yun has captivated audiences worldwide with its breathtaking performances, colorful costumes, and stunning visual effects — becoming a global and cultural phenomenon celebrated by people of all ages, cultures, and backgrounds.
Yanah Barash, a professional movement instructor and gymnastics coach, took a break from her busy schedule to attend the final show of Shen Yun’s State Theater run in New Jersey. Speaking with Vision Times, she expressed her hope that her own students would have the opportunity to experience the show and learn from the depth of emotion in Shen Yun’s performances.
Barash praised the show’s beauty, the quality of costumes, technique, and the orchestra, sharing that she chose to approach the performance with an open mind, “I came with a free soul, and tried to just go deeply into the history and story.”
Aside from showcasing stunning choreography, acrobatics, and a unique orchestra that combines traditional Western and classical Chinese instruments, Shen Yun’s performances also retell legends and historical stories from ancient China as well as modern tales of bravery and oppression.
Some of the performing arts’ original dance pieces showcase the bravery and resilience of oppressed individuals as they fight to maintain their beliefs in the face of immense adversity. These performances aim to not only entertain, but also educate audiences on important social and political issues, while providing a unique perspective on the human spirit and the importance of not taking certain freedoms for granted.
Having a critical eye thanks to her coaching background, Barash admitted that she is often disappointed by performances that involve physical techniques, but Shen Yun’s performance had left a profound impact on her.
Barash told reporters that she found the “emotional quality of the dancers to be the most impressive aspect,” which came as a surprise to her. As a gymnastics coach, Barash is used to seeing advanced aerial techniques, but she has observed that students often fail to convey the proper emotional quality while executing the techniques.
“I would love to tell [my students] about Shen Yun… for sure,” she said, adding, “They’re going to see how to perform and how to explain emotion… really deeply. [Shen Yun’s dancers] came from the soul!”
For more information on Shen Yun Performing Arts, including FAQs and ticketing information, please visit the official website here.