The View from Behind the Curtain at Lincoln Center
This all-new 2012 program really puts my stamina to the test. Every year, the dances are pushed up to another level: the moves are harder, more coordination is required, techniques need more time to master... This year’s program again surpassed last year’s, and I’m thrilled to be presenting it each night we perform.
January 15 marked our last of five shows at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater. Last June, I had the opportunity to be a part of Shen Yun’s special performances at Lincoln, when we presented New Yorkers with classics from previous seasons. And so it was exciting to step onto the world’s leading performing arts stage again.
I remember the feeling before the first of our Lincoln shows. My heart was pounding heavily, and my brain was scurrying as I quickly reviewed the moves for the opening dance one last time. The dry ice was set, everyone and everything was in position, and all that was left was for our stage manager to call: “house curtain—go!” and our first show was underway.
I was eager for the show to start, eager to show everyone out there a performance of true traditional Chinese culture. Sometimes, as soon as the curtain goes up, I can hear “wow’s” from the people in the first few rows. This is only the beginning, I think. There will be a lot more “wow’s” later on for sure!
Outside, the nights were cold with a harsh wind. But the not-so-friendly weather didn’t stop people from coming to our shows and filling Lincoln Center with sold-out crowds night after night.
We performers often like to read reviews of the shows, to get a sense of the show from the audience’s perspective. I read a review on The Epoch Times about an audience member who spent an hour waiting in the bitter cold for a ticket. Stories like that really touched me—the things audience members sometimes do to watch our show really bring tears to my eyes.
Many people from mainland China visit the U.S, and because they cannot see Shen Yun in China, they often take this opportunity to come see us perform. Shen Yun presents pure, authentic Chinese culture, which has been destroyed in China over the past 60 years under the Chinese Communist Party. So you can’t see a performance like this in China today.
Most of the time, these people are at a loss for words when asked to describe their feelings about the show. The renaissance of Chinese culture has struck them deeply.
Actually it’s not just them; as a performer I feel the same way, too. Being a part of Shen Yun has made me realize how significant my culture is to me.
During our time at Lincoln, at the end of the night after a show, when the curtain comes down, as we take our final bows, I feel as if all the hard work, all the sweat, all the fatigue—it’s worth it. As I wave to the audience, seeing their smiles and hearing their cheers, I’m happy that they enjoyed our show. It really is a great feeling to end the day with.
We will be returning for shows at Lincoln Center in April, and I’m looking forward to it.
February 6, 2012