Entering the realm of Shen Yun is a delightful experience


Zosia Paciorek

StuPub reporter Zosia Paciorek stands by the Stifel Theatre on Feb 18, 2022 after watching the incredible Shen Yun performance

Zosia Paciorek, News Assistant Editor

Shen Yun is an annual show where performers travel around the world to share Chinese culture through music, dancing and singing. The performance incorporates ancient Chinese legends and stories and showcases classical Chinese dance, acrobatics and music. It also features a live orchestra that plays traditional Chinese instruments such as the Pipa, Erhu, Gong and Qing.

The performance is a way to celebrate and share Chinese culture with the world. It’s more than just a performance, it’s a revival of the beauty and goodness of China before communism. With stories and legends, vibrant costumes and backdrops, original music and a few fun surprises, it’s an experience that will delight your senses, inspire your heart, and just leave you feeling great according to the Shen Yun Performing Arts. For me, the vibrant colors were what I loved the most. It made the whole performance even more beautiful for me.

Shen Yun was a performance that I’ve always wanted to watch. The beautiful dances and clothing of the performers on the flyers is what sold me. I heard of Shen Yun when I was very young but never managed to find time to go and actually experience it. I watched it for the first time this year and it was one of the best performances I’ve ever watched. I went to see it at the Stifell Theatre, which was formerly the Peabody Opera House on Feb 18, 2022. It was $115 per ticket.

When I arrived at the theater, I managed to sit myself down as quietly as I could and the dancers came out and started their performance. Their beautiful vivid color dresses and energetic yet calm dances captivated me. I never understood the art of telling a story through dance until I saw Shen Yun

All of the performers were so graceful that it was as if gravity was not a problem for them. Their classical Chinese dance captivated me and I couldn’t take my eyes off of them. The performance also featured intricate costumes and animated backdrops to create stunning visual effects.

The pamphlet I read explained that each dance has a specific meaning, often drawing from Chinese history, mythology or literature. For example, the “Monkey King” dance tells the story of Sun Wukong, a legendary figure in Chinese mythology, while the “Dance of the Yi” showcases the customs and traditions of the Yi ethnic group in southwestern China. Other dances explore themes of love, patriotism and spiritual devotion, such as the “Tang Dynasty Grace” and the “Divine Emissaries.” 

I noticed that the dancers’ movements are intricate and delicate, yet full of energy and emotion, something that I couldn’t wrap my head around. The combination of the dancers’ skill, the vibrant costumes and the symbolic meanings of the dances make for a truly mesmerizing and enriching experience for me.

Shen Yun incorporates modern events in their performances. The show that I went to had a dancing performance about the COVID-19 pandemic and modern time communism in China, which gave the whole Shen Yun performance balance between ancient and modern events and stories. Overall, the dances are portrayed in a way that captivated me.

In addition to the dancers, Shen Yun also features a team of classically trained vocalists who perform a wide range of songs, from solos to choral pieces, according to Shen Yun Performing Arts. The singers use a mix of bel canto technique and traditional Chinese singing styles to create a unique sound that is both powerful and emotive. During the performance that I watched, they often sang about spirituality, nature and traditional values, with lyrics that were uplifting. The singers’ performances are a key part of the Shen Yun experience, adding depth and richness to the already stunning visual spectacle.

One of the most striking features of Shen Yun’s performances is the stunning, traditional clothing worn by the dancers and performers. The costumes are designed to be both beautiful and symbolic with vibrant colors. Each piece of clothing is carefully crafted to represent a specific aspect of Chinese culture or history, from the elegant dresses worn by Tang Dynasty dancers to the elaborate headdresses of the imperial court. The clothing reflects the different regions and ethnic groups of China, with each costume showcasing unique styles and techniques according to Shen Yun Performing Arts. The combination of the intricate designs, vibrant colors and historical significance of the clothing adds to the immersive experience of my Shen Yun performance.

Even though it felt like time stopped for me, the whole show soon ended and before I knew it I was escorted to the exit. As I left the theater, I was filled with inspiration and felt like I’d just learned something new.

The phrase Shen Yun, according to Shen Yun Performing Arts, means “the beauty of divine beings dancing.” Shen Yun is a truly unique and breathtaking performing arts company that offers a window into the rich and diverse culture of China that I never thought I could experience. From the traditional music and dance to the stunning costumes and intricate storytelling, I felt that every aspect of a Shen Yun performance is crafted with care and attention to detail. Whether you are a fan of Chinese culture or simply looking for a captivating and immersive experience, Shen Yun is not to be missed. Shen Yun’s performance is sure to leave you awestruck as it left me. So why not take the opportunity to witness this amazing performance in person and see for yourself why it is a cultural phenomenon that continues to captivate audiences around the world.