What... (i.e. camp, dance class, birthday party)
        
 
Pick a NYMetroParents Region: All Regions   Manhattan    Brooklyn    Queens    Westchester    Rockland   Fairfield    Nassau    Suffolk  

Resources

   

SHEN YUN BRINGS CHINESE LEGENDS TO LIFE IN NYC

     Home  >  Articles  > Theater & Performances
by Henry D. Mason December 19, 2013

Related: shen yun, chinese new year show nyc, shen yun nyc, shen yun 2014, shen yun performing arts,


Shen Yun Performing Arts, a New York-based company, brings the rich heritage of Chinese legends to life, sweeping audiences away with colorful dance, vibrant music, and spectacular sets. What beautiful secrets are in store this year?

shen yun ancient elegance

Shen Yun performed "Ancient Elegance" during the 2012-2013 season.

Okay, so you’re trapped under a mountain. All odds are against you—what do you do? Be thankful that you let your son play with axes when he was a kid. This ancient Chinese legend is a Romeo and Juliet-meets-Achilles story.

This tale, which has been brought to life by Shen Yun Performing Arts, begins with a bright young scholar wandering through the woods. He stops to rest at a secluded temple deep in the mountains. There, he notices a statue of the most magnificent goddess he has ever seen, and composes a poem praising her ethereal beauty. The goddess is so moved by the litterateur’s verse that she defies heavenly decrees and descends to the mortal world to meet this young man. The two fall hopelessly in love, marry, and give birth to a son—the demigod Chen Xiang.

But defying the laws of heaven forbidding deities from marrying humans comes at a price. When the goddess’s brother, a powerful three-eyed god, discovers what his little sister has done, he is outraged. Taking heaven’s law into his own hands, he comes down to Earth, snatches his goddess-sister, and hurls her under one of China’s most sacred mountains, Mount Hua. This is the very mountain where the young lover wrote his poem.

As the dust settles, father is nowhere to be found, mother is trapped under a ginormous mountain, and Chen Xiang, still only a child, is left all alone. The boy starts roaming the land in search of a way to rescue his mother. Hungry and tired he finally stumbles upon an old Taoist master. The sage sees that Chen is not an ordinary child and takes him under his wing. He teaches him the sacred Taoist ways and martial arts, training the boy day and night for 16 years. Finally Chen’s training is complete, and the old Taoist bestows upon him a magic ax.

yang zhi and his saber, shen yun

Shen Yun performed "Recalling the Great Qin" during the 2012-2013 season.

With his trusty ax and years of martial arts training under his belt, Chen returns to Mount Hua to rescue his mother—only to find his three-eyed uncle peering down at him from atop the mountain.

This story came alive on the Lincoln Center stage in 2010: The protagonists donned elaborate and colorful ancient costumes. They glided across the stage and leapt through the air with dramatic flipping techniques. They went from being animated figures on the digital backdrop to instantly appearing as real, live people on stage in a way that defied reason. The battle that ensued between the demigod Chen and his menacing uncle was accompanied by memorable music performed by a live orchestra. And when the boy ultimately wins the battle and sets his ax against the mountain with a loud gong, what was formerly a huge mountain on the projection split open and his mother emerged, alive and well.

Bringing back these lost legends is Shen Yun's forte. The New York-based company excels at taking these ancient stories and making them accessible to audiences in the West. Its artistic team does this through the language of music and dance, primarily classical Chinese dance—one of the richest and most expressive art forms in the world.

Narrators briefly introduce each piece, giving just enough of an introduction to help the uninitiated understand the story, but not too much as to slow the pace or give away the plot. As soon as the curtain rises, it is hard not to be swept away to the enchanting world of ancient China and its legends.

And with 5,000 years of history, traditional Chinese culture provides an abundant treasure trove of stories and heroes—each typically accompanied by a moral. Shen Yun thus need not worry about running out of raw material, and the company produces an all-new performance each year.

What will be performed in this year’s show is still a secret. What is known is that, starting in December, Shen Yun will tour more than 100 cities around the world, and will be in New York Jan. 10-19, 2014. The 10 New York performances (including four matinees) will be at Lincoln Center's David H. Koch Theater. Children must be at least 5 years old to attend.

 


Get Your FREE Indoor Activity eGuide!

More Theater & Performances Articles

Flushing Town Hall Reopens After Renovation for Spring 2014 Season

Blue Man Group Expands Birthday Party Package
Shen Yun Brings Chinese Legends to Life in NYC
Where to See 'The Nutcracker' in Fairfield this Year
Top 10 Holiday Shows in NYC for Families

Be a good fellow parent and share this with a friend who would be interested
Email Friend

Local Theater & Performances Sponsors

JCC of Mid-Westchester
999 Wilmot Road
Scarsdale, NY
914-472-3300
The Jewish Community Center of Mid-Westchester is ...

Broadway Babies
114 Boston Post Road
Mamaroneck, NY
914-500-2599
Broadway Babies/Superstars/Applause, the number on...

Downtown Cabaret Children's Company
253 Golden Hill St
Bridgeport , CT
203-576-1636 x107
...

Broadway Arts Factory
DANY Studios, 305 W. 38th St.
New York, NY
646-543-2823
...

Christian Youth Theater New York City
PO Box 216
Peck Slip Station, New York
646-490-0654
CYT is dedicated to developing character in childr...
See Our Theater & Performances Directory

local zones

Nassau

Nassau cont.

Suffolk

Suffolk cont.

Westchester

Westchester cont.

Fairfield

Rockland

Rockland cont.

Queens

Queens cont.

Brooklyn

Brooklyn cont.

Manhattan

Copyright 2014 NY Metro Parents Magazine Site Design: THE VOICE