The richly expressive performances of Shen Yun are coming to Orange County and residents can experience a story of the Chinese civilization throughout its 5,000-year history told through a classical Chinese dance. Shen Yun Performing Arts has been telling these stories since 2006, and each year they create another breathtaking dance-based story that includes an orchestral accompaniment and solo performances with Chinese traditions, villains, and heroes.
Shen Yun incorporates both Chinese and Western instruments into their pieces, developing a new type of classical music that creates a cross-cultural harmony. Traditional costumes and colors radiate from the stage and provide an incredible aesthetic to the already graceful dancers. The stage incorporates 3D projection and state-of-the-art lighting, sound and designs giving the dances and story narratives the right amount of attention.
Every performer is required to follow the Chinese principles of truth, compassion, and tolerance. Dancers train for hours on end each day working on their dance moves, posture, technical moves, tumbling, and stretching, before going into their rehearsal training. Some of the extensive training includes doing 300 kicks, spending a total of 16 minutes in different types of splits, or working on their front and backflips.
Shen Yun is a non-profit performing arts company based out of New York. Chinese dance was passed down to the generations through the imperial courts and ancient plays, getting refined along the way. There are seven touring groups and each group consists of approximately 40 male and female dancers and another 40 or so people who assist with music and production. All the costumes are said to be handmade in New York.
Performances run about two hours with one intermission. Each show has roughly 15 different short dances and there is a bilingual emcee who introduces each piece so that attendees can better appreciate the overall experience.
There are shows throughout the US, Europe, and other parts of the world, but Costa Mesa residents can catch Shen Yun from February 28-March 5, 2023 at the dazzling Segerstrom Hall.
There are a few things you should be aware of prior to attending. For one, it is highly recommended that guests dress in business attire or evening wear; although, when you look at the audience overall, many are not dressed formally.
Secondly, attendees are asked not to whistle or cheer loudly, but applause is always welcomed. Oh, and if you’re thinking about taking photos or videos, you can forget it; there is no photography or videography allowed, even without a flash. But most importantly, you should know that the show has extensive political and spiritual aspects to it that may catch you off guard.
Tickets are available now for the upcoming OC performances.