New York’s Chinese Flock to Lincoln Center
East and West blended together in a unique way at Lincoln Center the last weekend of June. It was not only in the orchestra pit, where the Shen Yun Performing Arts orchestra, as always, featured both classical Western and Chinese instruments. Nor was it only on the corner of the stage, where a pair of Western and Chinese emcees introduced each piece.
It was also throughout the entire David H. Koch Theater—Chinese audience members at times appeared to be as many as those of non-Chinese descent. Certainly a big reason was New York’s very sizable Chinese community. But according to Chinese audience members themselves, there was something special that drew them to the performance. And so it became that they joined New York’s glamorous celebrities at this most prestigious theater in the world’s most international city.
Here are three examples of what Chinese audience members had to say about Shen Yun:
A Chinese illustrator:
To show other people what we used to have, what's the real Chinese culture, and the long history of what we've developed, instead of this communist culture… [I’m] proud of Asian people.
An official from the Chinese Ministry of Culture who could not give her name, said:
The whole time I was trying to control my emotions, to keep from crying. This is such a stirring show, truly very, very good. I don't know what to say—you can't use language to express how beautiful, authentic, amazing, compassionate, intimate this performance is and how much I like it.
Even in China I haven't seen a performance like this.
As soon as the curtain opened, I felt like my heart was tightly seized. Very surprising—touching in an unknown way, and I was quickly drawn in, merging into the performance. Extremely miraculous!
At that moment you forget everything, forget that you are in the ordinary world, all the worries, all the unhappy things—you don't think of them… an extraordinarily harmonious atmosphere, filled with energy and benevolence.
It's a kind of blending of exterior on the one hand and spirit or soul on the other. The performers have a deep understanding of culture... I want to thank these overseas artists for all their devotion and dedication.
Today's Chinese people are blindly following modernity, I don't think today's youth really understand or treasure their own traditional culture. They need to come watch Shen Yun. I sincerely wish that one day Shen Yun will be able to go to China.
Lu Dong, spokesman for the Chinese Christian Democratic Party:
You are just infected by the grand magnificence of the energy, the beautiful hues, the wonderful music and graceful dance, just intoxicated by the art's appearance, absolutely struck by the entire aura.
In terms of artistic beauty, there isn't any other show, any other art form in the world that can compare with Shen Yun. In terms of the spirit and inner meaning, it is unparalleled.
Everyone should come see Shen Yun, and they should see it two or three times.
July 6, 2011