W. PALM BEACH, Florida — On May 2, Shen Yun kicked off three shows in the city’s esteemed Kravis Center for the Performing Arts (Dreyfoos Hall), with audience members marveling at the performing arts troupe’s vibrant costumes and props, gravity-defying acrobatics, immersive high-tech backdrops, live music, and more.
Established in 2006, Shen Yun Performing Arts is the world’s leading company in classical Chinese dance and music — displaying the elegance, beauty, and charm of ancient Chinese culture through music, dance, and song.
Based in New York, the company is composed of a large ensemble of talented artists from all around the world who come together with the shared goal of reviving and promoting 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture prior to the ravages of communism.
‘Shen Yun is amazing’
Peter and Melanie Hebert, a brother-sister duo, attended Shen Yun’s performance in West Palm Beach on May 2, telling reporters that the performance was “amazing.”
“I love the dance and everything about the show; it’s amazing, said Peter, adding, “I’ve never seen a show like this before. Everything is great, and the music is outstanding.”
When asked about what stood out to him the most, Peter said he was particularly struck by the final story piece. “I was shocked to learn about what’s happening in China, and I was very moved by the performers’ depiction of courage and the will to never give up.”
Shen Yun’s performances aim not only to entertain; some of the performing arts’ dance pieces showcase the bravery and resilience of oppressed individuals as they strive to maintain their beliefs in the face of immense adversity. These performances hope to raise awareness and 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.
‘The show is breathtaking’
Peter shared with reporters that he would definitely recommend the show to family and friends and was excited to return next year to see Shen Yun again. “Shen Yun is coming back next year, and I will definitely come back to see it again; the show is just breathtaking.”
Currently, Shen Yun has eight equally-sized companies that travel and perform around the world simultaneously; featuring a brand new performance each year.
Peter’s sister Melanie, a professional dancer, shared with reporters that she admired the divine meaning of Chinese traditional culture interpreted through Shen Yun’s performance.
“The divine concepts in [Chinese] culture are very impressive,” said Melanie, adding, “I think this is what people need now. It’s really a shame that authorities [in China] do not want people to be exposed to it.”
When asked about what struck her the most, Melanie said she felt saddened that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) does not allow people to have freedom of belief. “It makes us realize why [the CCP] does not allow people to have their own beliefs and freedom — I think sharing this message through Shen Yun is amazing.”
‘The art is outstanding’
Melanie, a dancer and gymnast, admired the superb dance skills of Shen Yun’s dancers. “It turns out that gymnastics originated from classical Chinese dance,” she said, adding, “It’s very cool to see the history [of its origin]. We know nothing about it. This art is very outstanding, and to see the costumes of the performers flying onstage and the performers flying in the air, it was very wonderful.”
Her boyfriend Joe Benson, who also attended the performance on May 2, said, “This is definitely an amazing show with a beautiful storyline that really touched my heart.”
Benson said he was moved by one of the dance scenes depicting gods and Buddhas descending to save sentient beings. “When you actually see this kind of situation happen in the program, you feel like you want to jump up from your seat,” said Benson, adding that he hopes “all families can come and enjoy Shen Yun’s performance.”
‘The dancers are so talented’
Katarzyna and Roger Jacob, an engineer for the city of Port St. Lucie, told reporters that the performance was “awesome and exciting,” after attending Shen Yun’s show in West Palm Beach on May 2.
“The dancing is amazing, we love it and we will keep coming. It’s very exciting to follow the stories because you can learn so much about other cultures in this way,” said Roger, adding that he would definitely recommend the show to family and friends.
“We enjoyed it tremendously,” said Katarzyna, adding, “It’s very good entertainment — and it’s not something you can find anywhere else. [The dancers] do an amazing job because they’re so talented.”
When asked about what their favorite part of the performance was, the pair said, “We learned so much about Chinese culture; it’s very admirable, and moving.”
Katherine said she loved seeing the “colorful costumes and incredible synchronization” of the dancers. “How were they able to fly in and out of the stage? That was amazing,” she said.
‘[Shen Yun] identifies with goodness’
Shen Yun’s use of a high-tech integrative, digital backdrop brings scenes from different landscapes, celestial realms, and ethnic regions to life — giving the illusion of the performers jumping in and out of different time periods and ancient dynasties. The performers’ costumes are adorned with intricate designs, vibrant colors, and beautiful fabrics that add to the beauty and magic of each performance.
This integration serves to bring scenes from different dynasties, celestial realms, and ethnic regions to life; each performance is also guided by two emcees who explain each segment in both English and Chinese — making it more accessible to a wider audience.
“I like how the emcees came out and explained what each story was going to be about. It really added to the reality of what you were watching and was very creative,” said Roger.
“We’re very spiritual so it’s very touching to see these kinds of performances,” said Roger, adding, “It makes me feel very happy because in today’s world, people are not as spiritual as they were when I was younger. So, it’s very refreshing to see people that want to identify with goodness and not other principles.”
For more information about Shen Yun Performing Arts, including FAQs, upcoming performances, and ticketing information, please visit the official website here.