Meaning ‘the beauty of divine beings dancing’, Shen Yun is the world’s biggest and most esteemed classical Chinese dance and music company. Founded in New York in 2006, it brings the rigorous, athletic art form of Chinese dance to the stage, accompanied by a live symphony orchestra. Ablaze with stunning, colourful costumes and an animated backdrop, the group performs story-based dances that transport you back to the Middle Kingdom—through the Ancient Chinese civilisation with all its uplifting legends and inspired modern heroic tales. But behind this vibrant spectacle lies a darker, more deliberate meaning. The company’s publicity emphasises that ‘Shen Yun cannot be seen in China today, where traditional culture has been nearly lost’. Their aim is to revive 5,000 years of Chinese culture, which has been suppressed since the beginning of the Communist era. The company’s founders are practitioners of Falun Gong, which is a moral, spiritual practice centred on ‘Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance’. Seen as heretical and a threat to the atheist beliefs of the Chinese Communist Party, Shen Yun’s performances continually seek to bring the culturally rich history and divine legends of China to an international audience, determined to share such a treasure with the world and to defy the heavy censorship imposed in China today.
Shen Yun trailer
Tickets are available from €40. More information here.