New York Audience: Shen Yun, a Spiritual Experience


Shen Yun performed in packed theaters at Lincoln Center throughout the weekend. Its showcase of 5,000 years of Chinese culture attracted audience members from all walks of life.

“The tenor was excellent, very good,” said Jennifer Tibbetts, a singer and composer. “It’s absolutely top-notch. It’s really a great experience. I’m really overwhelmed. And it’s beautiful.”

“I thought they were amazing, just absolutely amazing,” said Leah Foster, associate director of Bayer Healthcare. She said she’s from “a big dance family, [so] I watched with a very critical eye.”

“I thought they were just basically perfect. I mean, I really could not pick up any mistakes,” she added.

“It’s like time stood still … from the moment I sat down until it was over. I couldn’t believe that it was done,” said Kimberly Schechter, a lawyer and former television producer. “It just flew by, absolutely flew by. Beautiful.”

Shen Yun travels around the world with one mission: to revive the Chinese traditional culture from before communism.

“The dances are gracious. It’s inspiring to see all those scenes that really engage us and take us on a journey through ancient China,” said Laetitia Garriott de Cayeux, founder of Global Space Ventures.

“So many different civilizations and so much history that goes into China, and the spiritual experiences of so many people, the spiritual struggles, the lives of so many people—and all that seems to come together in this performance,” said William Elder, a Catholic priest and professor of canon law at the Saint Joseph’s Seminary & College.

Ancient Chinese people believed their culture was a gift from the divine. For thousands of years, traditional Chinese art forms such as music and dance have been integrated into people’s lives—expressed in benevolence, beauty, and other virtues.

Some audience members said it was a spiritual experience.

“Just the minute I sat down, I could feel something divine in the room, something present,” said Lisa Petrucco, business manager of St. Brigid’s Church. “I really would say I feel God in the room.”

“There’s spirituality there, which is something that’s very, very impressive,” added Elder. “You can feel the love, the compassion, the tenderness there in the dancers, so it’s something quite extraordinary.”

“It’s a real—I can say this as a priest—is a real spiritual experience,” he added.

Some said they felt rejuvenated after the performance.

“I feel a lot happier,” said Elder. “I feel kind of confirmed, in a way, in my own relationship to God. I feel very enthusiastic about not just Chinese history and culture, but just human civilization and the possibilities for human civilization, because the Chinese have gone through so much since the late 1940s. But that spirit, you can’t conquer that spirit, you can’t conquer that spirituality. So that’s something that really resonates with me.”

“Honestly, I felt much lighter,” said Schechter. “I walked out. I felt like almost I could breathe better. I would see [Shen Yun] again and again. I would come back each year because I think that there’s a new lesson to be learned each time.”

“I would tell my friends if they’re given the opportunity that they should run—not walk—or float, float and fly here,” she added. “It’s definitely worth seeing and I would say that for not only themselves but the people around them.”

Shen Yun Performing Arts will be performing in seven different cities this week, throughout the United States, in Europe, and in Canada.

NTD News, New York

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