MEXICO CITY, Mexico — On May 7, Shen Yun concluded five exhilarating sold-out shows at the prestigious Auditorio Nacional in Mexico City. Theatergoers were treated to a breathtaking display of dance choreographies, vibrant costumes, gravity-defying techniques, immersive digital backdrops, and live music, among other artistic displays.
Founded in 2006, Shen Yun Performing Arts has grown to become the leading company in the world showcasing classical Chinese dance, art, and music. Through powerful and immersive performances, Shen Yun, which currently has eight equally-sized companies that tour and perform around the world simultaneously — captivating audiences of all ages and backgrounds
‘Values that lead to peace and harmony’
After attending Shen Yun’s performance on May 5, Rubén Arturo Sánchez Valencia, a circuit judge working for Mexico’s federal judiciary, told reporters that the performance was “extraordinary” and that “words fell short” to express everything it represented.
“First of all, [the show] was extraordinary, which is an expression that may fall short of everything it represents, and honestly, I still have this feeling that [Shen Yun] takes you on a journey within yourself to learn how to become a better person,” said Sánchez.
Based in New York, the company is composed of an ensemble of talented artists from all 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 prior to the ravages of communism.
“I believe that in the world, we need to rescue those values that simply and sincerely lead us to peace and harmony, and above all, eradicate division and hatred,” said Sanchez, adding, “The dancing was extraordinary to me. The synchrony is incredible, and the way the performers are so dedicated to their craft and what they love to do; it really comes through in the show.”
‘Freedom will always be possible’
When asked about what he thought about Shen Yun’s mission to revive traditional Chinese culture and how the show cannot be performed in mainland China due to the Communist regime’s persecution of Falun Gong, Sanchez said he felt “deeply saddened by it.”
“It saddens me greatly that they cannot be in their country, in their territory. How sad that this still happens in these times. However, what is important is what they want to demonstrate and that freedom will always be possible.”
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.
READ MORE: Falun Gong Parade Held in Manhattan to Celebrate the Spiritual Practice’s Founding
‘Universal values that everyone can appreciate’
Ariadne Diaz, an actress, attended Shen Yun’s performance for the first time in Mexico City on May 6. She told reporters that she had been wanting to see Shen Yun for many years and was grateful that she finally had the opportunity to experience “authentic and beautiful Chinese culture.”
“Did you know that I had wanted to come and see [Shen Yun] for years?” she said, adding, “I was always drawn to the colors, the comments from people about how much they got to learn about Chinese culture through this show.”
Diaz explained that though she kept missing the show for “one reason or another,” she made up her mind to see Shen Yun this time around, no matter what.
“This time we finally took the opportunity. I came with my son, and we have enjoyed it a lot. The truth is that you leave here full of colors, music, and talent and immersed in another culture; it is very beautiful.”
When asked about what stood out to her the most, Diaz said, “What caught my attention a lot is that despite being so distant and having such different cultures, we share these same universal values, and I am very grateful for the opportunity for my son to see all the musicians, artists, dancers, and everything up close.”
Shen Yun’s use of a high-tech integrative, digital backdrop brings scenes from different dynasties, celestial realms, and ethnic regions to life; the show is also guided by two emcees who explain each segment in both English and Chinese — making each storyline more accessible to a wider audience.
“Suddenly, even though the majority of us watching this are Mexicans, I would think, ‘This could be our story,’ in such a way that at the end of the day, all these values are shared, right?”
‘Traveling through the history of China’
Javier Poza, a communication executive, attended Shen Yun’s last performance in Mexico City on May 7. He shared with reporters that the show provided him with a “sensational experience,” and allowed him to reflect on his own life and values.
“Shen Yun has been a sensational experience for me. It’s practically like traveling through the history of China through the marvelous talent, grace, and perfection of these dancers. They are a true spectacle,” he said, adding that he particularly enjoyed the use of live music that helped “bring each message to life.”
Shen Yun’s performances take audiences on a breathtaking journey through time and space by seamlessly blending classical Chinese dance, ethnic and folk dancing, ancient legends, and contemporary narratives. A live orchestra that features a harmonious fusion of traditional Chinese and classical Western instruments also serves to take the audience on an immersive and unique artistic journey.
“It’s incredible to have the opportunity to see an orchestra like this performing the pieces live, in perfect, perfect synchrony with the dancers,” said Poza.
‘Journeying inward and reconnecting with the Creator’
When asked about what stood out to him the most, Poza said, “Each performance is impressive, as they manage to precisely and clearly convey a message related to returning to spirituality, journeying inward, and reconnecting with the Creator.”
“Overall, it’s a visually stunning show that not only moves you emotionally, but also invites reflection,” he said.
When asked whether he would recommend Shen Yun to family and friends, Poza said, “I was telling my wife that they make it look so easy, which speaks to the mastery of both the dancers and the musicians. It’s impressive — a unique opportunity without a doubt — and a show we would recommend for everyone to experience, at least once.”
For more information on the performing arts troupe, including FAQs, upcoming performances, and ticketing information, please visit the official website here.