ABOUT “SHEN YUN”: WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
The character 神 (Shen) is a general term for “divine” or “divine being”, 韻 (Yun) means a person’s inner bearing. It’s like the feel behind a movement. For example, when we raise a hand, we each do it a little differently and Yun can be seen in every movement, and especially in dance. So together, the name Shen Yun means the feeling of divine beings dancing.
Shen Yun. For Chinese, the words evoke a sense of wonder, magic, and the divine. To audiences who have seen it, they recall the experience of a lifetime—a moment so powerfully beautiful it touches the soul. Discover the grandeur of a fantastically rich culture, that of classical China, brought to life through brilliantly choreographed dance and mesmerizing, all-original orchestral compositions. Magnificently costumed dancers—the world’s elite—move in poetic arrangements that evoke pastoral beauty, imperial drama, and the glory of an ancient civilization. This season, discover what art was meant to be. Discover Shen Yun.
EXPERIENCE A DIVINE CULTURE
What if you could travel across centuries, visit imperial palaces, and discover realms hidden to the human eye? Stand alongside emperors, fly with fairies, and meet heroes of timeless courage?
Welcome to the epic of Chinese civilization! This is a storyline of 5,000 years. Now is your chance to embark on an incredible adventure that captures the spirit of ancient China. Through the universal language of music and dance, Shen Yun Performing Arts weaves a wondrous tapestry of myths and legends, leaving audiences with newfound inspiration and hope.
ENTER THE GATES TO A LOST CIVILIZATION
Since the dawn of Chinese civilization, its culture has been rooted in spiritual traditions. The ancients believed that their culture was divinely inspired. They told of gods bestowing wisdom from the heavens, and understood that good is always rewarded and evil punished.
These beliefs endured five millennia, until the Chinese Communist Party seized power some 60 years ago. Since then, the atheist regime has sought to destroy all remnants of China’s spiritual heritage.
But now, we invite you to revisit this lost civilization, and see how Shen Yun is reviving authentic traditions through music and dance. While you cannot see a performance like this in China today, it is outside of China that this culture is being brought back to life.
Here is your chance to enter a world where fantasy becomes reality, and where faith and hope are rediscovered.
CHINESE DANCE IN ITS PUREST FORM
How is an art form thousands of years old still so amazing and fun to watch?
Grace. Beauty. Energy. Thrilling leaps and spins. Classical Chinese dance has it all.
Classical Chinese dance boasts a diverse vocabulary and a wealth of techniques. It has been cultivated over millennia to become the comprehensive dance system we know today—one that is both elegant and athletic.
Performers of classical Chinese dance must connect every movement with their innermost feelings. From the steady gaze following an outstretched arm to the swift point of a finger, dancers can vividly convey emotions and bring any character to life.
Built on traditional aesthetics, classical Chinese dance is the perfect tool for reviving ancient values and virtues. That is why it’s the art at the heart of Shen Yun.
THE PERFECT HARMONY OF EAST & WEST
Shen Yun has succeeded in doing what many have tried and failed: seamlessly blending both Chinese and Western instruments in one orchestra. Where else can you hear traditional Chinese instruments—like the soulful erhu and the delicate pipa—alongside violins, trumpets and clarinets? Combining the exquisite beauty of Chinese melodies with the grandeur of the Western orchestra, Shen Yun takes musical storytelling to a whole new level. It is a sound like no other.
RESOUNDING VOICES OF HOPE
Every Shen Yun program is heightened by moving selections from our singers. These vocalists have undergone exclusive training to master an ancient bel canto technique that was once lost.
In bygone days, ancient Chinese theatre and early European opera shared the same singing technique: a natural method believed to produce the most beautiful and pure tone of voice. Today, however, bel canto’s genuine high-note technique has been lost in Europe. In China as well, it is impossible to find a singer who has truly grasped this method. Only Shen Yun’s singers use genuine bel canto on the modern stage, and their ability to perform while retaining perfect Chinese diction is unparalleled.
Each vocal piece is specially written for Shen Yun performances. With profound lyrics that probe into the mysteries of life, these songs transcend the boundaries of race and culture, and resonate with a message of hope and peace.
DISCOVER A LOST WORLD OF MAGIC AND MIRACLES
Which classic hero would you like to meet? A mischievous monkey who can fly? An imperial general forced to become an outlaw? Or A man who fights tigers with his bare hands, but only when drunk?
Shen Yun’s story-based dances draw upon China’s 5,000-year-old culture—a bottomless treasure trove filled with fun adventures and mystical creatures with magical powers. Breathing life into these legends, Shen Yun highlights values that inspired the ancients for millennia, and continue to resonate with all of us today.
From emperors dressed in dragon robe regalia to celestial maidens in flowing sashes, Shen Yun’s costumes are truly a sight to behold.
With hundreds of colorful, handmade garments spanning China’s regions, dynasties, and ethnicities, every outfit is a recreation of authentic couture. Be it cloud capes and battle armor or ornate headdresses and flower-pot shoes, Shen Yun’s costuming stays true to history. Shen Yun performances are now a must-see for top fashion designers around the world—every year they come see Shen Yun knowing they will find new inspiration.
THE UPLIFTING ENERGY OF SHEN YUN
True art does more than make us smile. It inspires and uplifts; it speaks directly to our hearts. Just like the artists of ancient China, Shen Yun’s performers believe that to create real art, they must not only master their craft, but also cultivate goodness. Beauty stems from the heart—that’s why these artists emphasize meditation and moral character development. Only by nurturing inner beauty can an artist truly bring out the ideals that have nurtured Chinese culture for millennia, like loyalty, honesty, and compassion. These virtues flow through every dance movement and resonate with musical note. You can feel this energy long after you leave the theater.
CANNOT BE SEEN IN CHINA
Shen Yun cannot perform in China today.
And how ironic that is. Shen Yun showcases the best of traditional Chinese culture, and yet the ruling Chinese communist regime has barred Shen Yun from performing there. That’s because the Communist Party, which is officially atheist and does not allow true freedom of belief, sees this authentic culture and its rich spiritual heritage as a threat. For decades, it has tried to destroy this ancient culture. During the infamous Cultural Revolution, in particular, it tried to wipe out all traditional beliefs. And it nearly succeeded.
But ten years ago, a group of elite Chinese artists came together in New York and decided to change that. They created Shen Yun and have brought the culture back from the brink of extinction. Even though Shen Yun cannot perform in China today, the company is sharing this lost culture with people all around the world. These artists, who also come from around the globe, share a dream that one day, they can bring these beloved traditions back to China—known in legends as “the Land of the Divine.”
Alongside ancient legends, Shen Yun presents stories from China today. The tale of people who practice Falun Dafa—a meditation discipline that follows China’s spiritual traditions—is particularly inspiring. Despite facing persecution from the Chinese regime, these people continue to live by their virtues of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. Their stories of peaceful courage, beautifully depicted through dance and music, have become audience favorites worldwide.
A GLOBAL SENSATION
A performance leaving millions in awe.
Shen Yun started with a small group of artists sharing a single dream, to bring back true Chinese culture. But within a few short years Shen Yun has become an international phenomenon. Only a decade since its inception, Shen Yun has four companies that simultaneously tour around the world, performing for royalty, entertainment celebrities, government leaders, and many other VIPs in sold-out shows at the most celebrated theaters. No wonder people call Shen Yun a global sensation.
Now is your chance to be a part of it. Don’t miss this opportunity to see what the world is talking about!