Frequently Asked Questions

You are not based in China?

Shen Yun is based in New York where its artistic creators are able to freely express themselves and revive their ancient Chinese culture. Such artistic freedom is unfortunately not present in China under the communist regime, which has co-opted and destroyed traditional arts. The courage and outspokenness of our artists is one of the reasons why Shen Yun is so well-loved.

Can I buy DVDs of your performances? 

DVDs of our performances are not available for purchase, because we believe that the full impact of our show can only be felt by being there at the theater, experiencing live the fusion of the dance, costumes, and live orchestra. It’s truly an unforgettable experience.

Are there any CDs of your music for sale?

You can buy our Shen Yun Chorus Concert CDs and DVDs. But, as with DVDs of the performance, we believe the music is best experienced live at the theater.

Is there anything I can read in advance, to get the most out of the show?

Absolutely. For the basics, including photo galleries and videos, our About section would be a good place to start. There, you can also get an introduction to the incredible art form that is classical Chinese dance. The Learn section of our website is a wonderfully rich information portal where you can get more background on the ancient legends behind our pieces, and you can also meet our artists here. For something more advanced, you can also explore Friends of Shen Yun. Membership is free.

Do you have a newsletter or mailing list I can subscribe to? 

Sure do. You can receive a monthly e-newsletter by joining Friends of Shen Yun, which is free. With Friends, you can also download wallpapers, play original games, and get a discount at our shop.

How can I find out when next year's performance will be in my city?

It’s easy. First, all performance dates, times, prices, and theater information are posted on our website as soon as the information is available. Soon, you will also be able to use our “Notify Me” tool to receive an automatic notification before we next come to your city.

When can I applaud?

In general, applauding at the end of each piece and after the emcees finish introducing each piece is customary at Shen Yun performances. Of course, if there is a particular aspect of a dance piece that moves or delights you, feel free to applaud mid-piece.

What should I wear?

Formal, semi formal, or business attire is recommended. What is customary in different theaters and local cultures can vary, though. We encourage you to come looking your best; it makes your experience that much more special.

How early should I arrive?

Most theaters encourage audience members to arrive 30 minutes prior to curtain. Latecomers will only be seated during pauses in the program. But you don't want to miss the opening piece!

I am not Chinese—will I understand the content?

Definitely. Each Shen Yun performance is hosted by bilingual emcees who will guide you through the show and provide all the background needed for you to enjoy it; songs’ texts are translated and appear on a screen; and programs, always available in two or more languages, provide a simple introduction to each piece.

Why would I enjoy a Chinese show?

Do you enjoy beautiful costumes, exciting music, high-flying dance techniques, stories, and legends? Then you will definitely enjoy Shen Yun! Not only that, but the universal themes of compassion, courage, and hope are Shen Yun hallmarks. See what non-Chinese from around the world have to say in their own words.

How long is the show?

It’s about two hours including intermission.

May I use a camera or recording device?

No. Photography or recording of any kind at Shen Yun performances is strictly prohibited. Even without a flash, photography and recording disrupts our performers—the dancers can see it! It further interferes with other audience members trying to enjoy the performance. It is also a violation of copyright laws. Theater staff and security personnel are instructed to intercept anyone taking photos or recording.

What does Shen Yun mean?

Shen Yun literally translates as: The beauty of heavenly beings dancing. More here.

What’s the performance like?

A Shen Yun performance consists of roughly fifteen brief dance pieces interspersed with three to four solo vocal or instrumental music pieces. Each dance number has its own theme, story, and ethnic, regional, or dynastic background. Classical Chinese dance is at the heart of the performance, along with brilliant costumes, breathtaking projection, and an orchestra that combines both classical Western and Chinese instruments.

Will children enjoy Shen Yun?

Shen Yun is very much suitable for all ages. Families are a big part of our audience and each year children have their favorite pieces, such as the Monkey King. We ask that you only bring children who are able to sit through the entire performance without disturbing others. Children under four cannot be admitted. Some theaters and local presenters require that a child must be at least five or six years old to attend. You can find this information by selecting your city, and then choosing “Info” followed by “Show Info.”

Do you have an orchestra?

Every Shen Yun performance is accompanied by our one-of-a-kind orchestra that combines Western symphonic instruments with traditional Chinese instruments.