How much do shen yun dancers make

What You Need to Know About the Show and Falun Gong 'Cult'

  • Posters for Shen Yun are so ubiquitous that they've become a meme. But what is it, anyway?
  • The show, organized by Chinese religious minority Falun Gong which is opposed to the Chinese government, carries a strong political message.
  • It's shockingly profitable, according to public financial filings. The Shen Yun organization made $22.5 million in 2016.
  • Falun Gong is controversial for its bigoted beliefs, and is also harshly persecuted within China.
  • Shen Yun is a way Falun Gong communicates the story of its persecution.
  • Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.
LoadingSomething is loading.

Thanks for signing up!

Access your favorite topics in a personalized feed while you're on the go.

If you've walked around in literally any city lately, you've probably seen a poster for Shen Yun.

The cryptic advertisements usually feature a woman serenely gliding through the air in front of a lavender background. They bear the enigmatic slogan "5,000 years of civilization reborn." It seems to be an ad for a dance performance. 

But Shen Yun, as it turns out, isn't just a dance show. It's also part of an elaborate messaging strategy for Falun Gong — also known as Falun Dafa — a Chinese religious and political group persecuted within China that opposes the country's ruling party.

So how, exactly, did a dissident Chinese political-and-religious organization start a dance show that became a meme and marketing juggernaut in the US? And what does any of this have to do with harvesting organs?

Well, we'll explain.

OK, so what exactly 

is Shen Yun?

According to people who've seen the show, it's a series of colorful dance vignettes, each one presenting a historical anecdote or ideological belief from Falun Gong.

The New Yorker's Jia Tolentino describes it as "religious-political propaganda ... an extremely elaborate commercial for Falun Dafa's spiritual teachings and its plight vis-à-vis the Chinese Communist regime."

The show promises "5,000 years of civilization." Shen Yun/YouTube

There are a few different troupes that tour the world. Dancers are trained at the Fei Tan Academy of the Arts, which is part of a 427-acre refuge for Falun Gong adherents in upstate New York. Profits from Shen Yun shows go towards maintaining the academy. The dance companies also, unusually, have a mixture of paid and unpaid performers, according to Hazlitt.

Shen Yun has a wide reach. It's playing in 94 different American cities this year, and has dozens of other shows in Canada, Mexico, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand — but not, as you can imagine, China.

So it's basically propaganda?

Well, it depends who you ask. But yes, the show definitely has a specific ideological bent. The purpose of Shen Yun is to demonstrate the evils of China's communist party and its beliefs. The show is fervently anti-atheist, anti-evolution, anti-Mao Zedong, and anti-Karl Marx.

Shen Yun also highlights specific examples of China's communist party persecuting Falun Gong. The show includes a "dance with the organ harvesting," according to the New Yorker. We'll explain the organ harvesting thing in a bit.

How do they afford all those posters?

Since Shen Yun is an arm of Falun Gong, it relies on Falun Gong members to help spread the word. Those Shen Yun posters everywhere? The ubiquity is the result of hardworking volunteers on the ground, distributing flyers and arranging the shows with venues in exchange for just a couple of tickets to the show.

Aside from that, the show actually has enormous demand. The ticket prices vary by city and venue, but they can go into the hundreds of dollars. Wen Chen, a Falun Gong organizer in California, told the Los Angeles Times he gave away his own tickets to a show in Los Angeles when the waitlist was more than 100 people long.

Shen Yun shows promise a wide-ranging look at Chinese civilization — in a way the country's ruling communist party refuses. Shen Yun/YouTube

The money made from shows, according to the Los Angeles Times, goes back to the Fei Tian Academy of the Arts, which can then train more Shen Yun players. The organization has its own budget, which is publicly published, and appears to be financially independent from the rest of Falun Gong.

It's quite profitable: Shen Yun made $22.5 million in revenue in 2016, the latest year where public filings are available, and spent only $7. 3 million in expenses. The Shen Yun organization had more than $75 million in total assets, according to the filing.

A Shen Yun performance. Shen Yun/YouTube

But because Shen Yun is part of Falun Gong, the advertising isn't just about selling tickets, and the show isn't just about making money. As Business Journal pointed out, the show also functionally spreads the word of Falun Gong, and offers a view of China that differs from the Communist party line. The marketing helps makes what would otherwise be a fringe event — a politically infused dance show — into a legitimate and significant cultural force.

Uh, OK. So is the show any good?

Most people think the dancer's acrobatic performances are pretty cool, even if the show's messages are confusing.

On Yelp, the reviews are mixed. A lot of people express feeling cheated for not realizing that the show promotes Falun Gong.

Shen Yun dancers rehearsing for a 2016 performance in Long Beach, California. Scott Varley/Digital First Media/Torrance Daily Breeze via Getty Images

"Some of the dancing was pretty, an occasional skit was amusing, one of the musical numbers with the Chinese two-stringed instrument was very nice, but mostly it was repetitive and schlocky," Ruth N. wrote about a performance in San Francisco. "AND, definitely filled with proselytizing of the very bizarre Falun Gong cult."

Others were impressed by the athleticism, costume design, and storytelling, including Cate Blanchett. The actress said the show was "an extraordinary experience for us and the children" and that "the level of skill, but also the power of the archetypes and the narratives were startling."   

In fact, Shen Yun's advertising campaign is a long list of apparent endorsements from celebrities and politicians They're touted on its website and included in a lot of ad campaigns. Even presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar put out a statement supporting the show.

The dance troupe performs along a 40-member orchestra. Scott Varley/Digital First Media/Torrance Daily Breeze via Getty Images

But it's not clear how these statements were obtained and why they've been issued. Klobuchar's team told the Star Tribune in 2015 that her statement was meant to be categorized as a "diplomatic gesture" in support of an international cultural group.

A representative for Blanchett didn't immediately respond to INSIDER's request for comment. Shen Yun didn't immediately respond to requests for comment on this story.

What's the deal with Falun Gong?

Falun Gong is a religious and political group from China with beliefs related to Buddhism and Taoism. It focuses on the human body through the lens of an idea and practice called qigong, which is meant to achieve enlightenment.

The group was founded by Li Hongzhi in 1992. He's controversial for his personal beliefs, which are homophobic, racist, and anti-science.

Didn't the founder of Falun Gong say something about aliens awhile back?

Yes. Li outlined some of his more eyebrow-raising beliefs in an interview with Time magazine in 1992. He said that David Copperfield can really levitate off the ground, that qigong can cure illness, and that aliens introduce science in the world so that they could use human bodies.

Li Hongzhi, the master of Falun Gong, in New York in 1999. HENNY ABRAMS/AFP/Getty Images

"Everyone thinks that scientists invent on their own when in fact their inspiration is manipulated by the aliens," Li said. "The ultimate purpose is to replace humans ... The human body is the most perfect in the universe. It is the most perfect form. The aliens want the human body."

What's China's beef with them?

Falun Gong grew quickly in the 1990s. By 1999, the group had between 70 million and 100 million followers, according to the New York Times. The group became a significant voice of protest in a country that, at the time, had a population of nearly 1. 3 billion.

Falun Gong's largest protest — of 10,000 people — occurred in 1999, and ultimately sparked a crackdown, as described in a 2008 congressional report. Falun Gong is technically banned in China, so you won't find Shen Yun shows there.

In 1999, China publicly burned literature published by Falun Gong. AP Photo/Wu Zengxiang, Xinhua

Read more: This map shows a trillion-dollar reason why China is oppressing more than a million Muslims

China's embassy in the United States has published multiple statements bashing Falun Gong, Li, and Shen Yun. The notion that Falun Gong is a "cult" is a feature of Chinese propaganda against the organization.

"The so-called "Shen yun" is not a cultural performance at all but a political tool of 'Falun Gong' to preach cult messages, spread anti-China propaganda, increase its own influence and raise funds," the embassy said in a statement. "The public need to stay away from the so-called 'Shenyun' performance of the 'Falun Gong' organization so as to avoid being deceived and used by the cult."

South Korean members of Falun Gong practicing a type of meditation in 2012. AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon

Li, no longer safe in China, lives in the United States as a permanent resident. China has an outstanding warrant for his arrest.

And what's this I hear about harvesting organs?

One of the ways China persecutes Falun Gong, members of the organization say, is by imprisoning its members and stealing their organs.

While research reports by governments and NGOs found that the allegations are true, it's not clear if organ-harvesting continues today. 

"As noted in the Department's recently-released Human Rights Report on China, some activists and organizations continue to accuse the government of involuntarily harvesting organs from prisoners of conscience, especially members of Falun Gong," a spokesperson for the US State Department told INSIDER. "The government denied the claims, having officially ended the long-standing practice of involuntarily harvesting the organs of executed prisoners for use in transplants in 2015."

Falun Gong followers protesting the Chinese government in California in 2017. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

A State Department representative also told INSIDER that it backs freedom of religion in China, and believes that the ban against Falun Gong should be lifted.

"The United States continues to call on Chinese authorities to end the ban on the Falun Gong, allowing them to worship freely and practice their faith in accordance with international human rights commitments," the spokesperson said. "Freedom of religion is critical to a peaceful, stable, and thriving society."

Does this have anything to do with that random anti-China newspaper that shows up on my porch for some reason?

You're probably thinking of the Epoch Times. It's a free newspaper that's aggressively distributed in some cities and suburbs in the United States. And it, too, has links to Falun Gong. If you've ever opened it up, you've probably seen the same type of anti-China messaging you'd find in Shen Yun.

So...what does any of this have to do with memes?

The ubiquity of Shen Yun's posters, along with the posters' distinctive design, has made them ripe for meme-dom.  

—Ben Ellman (@heybellman) January 24, 2019
—🤥 (@woozy_woozi) January 30, 2019
—vanessa blah (@myfbstatuses) January 24, 2019
—Peter Hartlaub (@peterhartlaub) December 24, 2018
—Hot Janitor (@haha_lets_chill) January 22, 2019

The meme reinforces its marketing. By having posters everywhere, Shen Yun has become a viral joke — which just raises more awareness for the show. Kind of genius, if you think about it.

  • Read more:
  • Winnie the Pooh could be banned from Shanghai Disneyland as a result of an ongoing meme used to criticize China's leader
  • This map shows a trillion-dollar reason why China is oppressing more than a million Muslims
  • The 19 best optical illusions that went viral and stumped the internet
  • The alleged New Zealand mosque gunman told people to 'subscribe to PewDiePie.' Here's the story behind the notorious YouTube star.

After years of ignoring Shen Yun billboards, I finally bought a ticket so you don't have to

This is a carousel. Use Next and Previous buttons to navigate


Before the show started at a Dec. 20, 2019 performance of Shen Yun at Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley.

Alix MartichouxShow MoreShow Less2of17

At 7:29 p.m. (just before showtime), there were still several seats in the rows in front of and behind me at Shen Yun.

Alix MartichouxShow MoreShow Less3of174of17

Shen Yun ads are practically everywhere you look in fall and winter in San Francisco.

Amy GraffShow MoreShow Less5of17An ad on Muni for Shen Yun 2020Cole Chapman/SFGATEShow MoreShow Less6of177of17

Zellerbach Hall on UC Berkeley's campus, where Shen Yun is showing in December 2019 and January 2020.

Alix MartichouxShow MoreShow Less8of17

Merchandise for sale at Shen Yun in Berkeley on Dec. 20, 2019.

Alix MartichouxShow MoreShow Less9of1710of17

Dancers in the Chinese performance show Shen Yun run through a technical rehearsal at the Terrace Theater in Long Beach, CA on Friday, March 18, 2016.

MediaNews Group/Orange County Re/MediaNews Group via Getty ImagesShow MoreShow Less11of17

Dancers in the Chinese performance show Shen Yun run through a technical rehearsal at the Terrace Theater in Long Beach, CA on Friday, March 18, 2016.

MediaNews Group/Orange County Re/MediaNews Group via Getty ImagesShow MoreShow Less12of1713of17

A Shen Yun advertisement displayed in the BART Powell St. Station.

Blair Heagerty / SFGateShow MoreShow Less14of17

A program at a Dec. 20, 2019 performance of Shen Yun at Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley.

Alix MartichouxShow MoreShow Less15of1716of17

FILE — Chinese nationals living in Belgium try to cover with a Chinese and a Belgian flags an advertisement for the show of the Belgian Falun Gong Association (BFGA) who present the world famous Shen Yun Performing Arts at the National theatre in Brussels on March 31, 2014.

GEORGES GOBET/AFP via Getty ImagesShow MoreShow Less17of17

After years — and I really mean years — of aggressively ignoring ads on billboards, BART, bus stations and every single commercial break on local news, I finally did it. I bought a ticket to see Shen Yun, a roughly two-hour performance of traditional Chinese dance put on by seven dance companies that tour the world concurrently. The show bills itself as "5,000 years of civilization reborn" and — in some ads — claims to be "so inspiring it changes your life."

Attending opening night of Shen Yun at Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall didn’t change my life (shocker!), but things didn't unfold exactly as I had expected either.

It was Friday night and I headed out on the town. On assignment. By myself. The dress code suggests you might want to wear a tuxedo or evening gown since you're "in for a special treat," but it's Berkeley so I wore jeans.

There was nary a tux in sight as I got off the bus and walked toward the performing arts center on Cal's campus. I made my way to my seat in the orchestra. I had originally purchased the cheapest seat possible ($80 for a spot in the balcony), but I got upgraded because a projector was apparently blocking off that area. More on the projector later. Despite rows of empty seats, I somehow got sandwiched between two big groups and immediately asserted my right to an armrest like I would on the middle seat of an airplane.

As people continued to file in, I took the 20 minutes before showtime to read the program. Here came the first mention of Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, in small print: "Shen Yun 2020 is presented to you by San Francisco Falun Buddha Study Association."

The artists who put on Shen Yun practice Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, a belief system that encompasses meditation, tai chi-type exercises, and "strict morality" (smoking, alcohol, and extramarital or same-sex sexual relations go against the teachings). But nowhere in Shen Yun's advertising blitz are those beliefs mentioned, and when the show gets going the political and spiritual overtones catch some viewers off guard.

I've done a fair bit of Googling (and a bit of writing) abut Shen Yun and Falun Dafa, so this is the part I was actually prepared for. I was ready and excited for two hours of "CULT PROPAGANDA" — angry Yelp reviewer's words, not mine.

(Also included in the program was something I've never seen in a Playbill before: a full-page patent announcement for the stage's realistic 3D digital backdrop. The "projector" plot thickens.)

As the lights dimmed, an announcement to turn off cell phones and other electronic devices came first in Mandarin, then English. The orchestra seating had filled out since I arrived but the rows in front of and behind me were still mostly empty.

The curtains lifted, fog covered the stage floor, cheerful music played and a troupe of dancers in colorful costumes moved in perfect time. It was surprisingly pretty cool. As the number went on, I wondered what part of the background exactly was patented. Then God appeared on screen (You know, an old man with a white beard, floating in the sky. Classic God.)

God said something in Mandarin. I do not speak Mandarin. Then we were transported into space (Your guess is as good as mine). There were angels. There was an emperor. I furiously scratched down notes, trying to get a grasp on the plot of this show, but the most legible thing in my notebook is "I'm really lost."

There were two more traditional dances, followed by a "dance story," sort of like a ballet. In this number a young couple went to a Buddhist temple to seek a blessing for their wedding, when the woman gets kidnapped. Antics ensue, in that predictable guaranteed-to-get-laughs (if you don't think too hard about the sexist tropes) slapstick way.

The show continued in this disjointed way. Dances, ballets and vocal performances, each act completely separate from the one before it or after. I gave up on my desire to find an overarching plot. There were religious themes throughout, but no overt propaganda as far as I could tell. (Was it working so well I hadn’t even noticed? Doubtful.) At this point, I was far more concerned about falling asleep than being brainwashed. And let the record show, I’ve never fallen asleep in a theater.

Then came the eighth act, titled "Abetting the Wicked." It opened in a park in modern-day China. People were milling about. A man holds up a sign reading "Falun Dafa is good." Finally, we're getting to the good stuff. Bring on the "CULT PROPAGANDA" I was promised.

A group of communist cops swarmed the park and beat the Falun Dafa practitioners. A good guy jumps in to defend them, but is jailed along with the rest. In prison, the group was tortured. The man who interfered was blinded. After release, the practitioners headed back to the park. The man went back to standing in the same place with the sign "Falun Dafa is good." But, of course, the cops came back. Except this time, the newly blinded man was handed a yellow book of Falun Dafa teachings. He is transported to heaven and made to see again. Hooray?

An outro from narrators explains that Shen Yun celebrates ancient Chinese culture, but due to the persecution of Falun Dafa, they are not able to perform in China.

Now might be a good time for some more context. Falun Dafa/Falun Gong started as a form of exercise in 1992. Followers gathered in public spaces to do qigong, which combines slow movements and meditation. Falun Gong combined those physical practices with spirituality and Taoist moral principles. In the late 90s, as Falun Gong gained steam and millions of followers, the Chinese Communist Party may have felt threatened by its size and popularity, so it cracked down. Thousands of practitioners were imprisoned or in some cases tortured. The founder, Li Hongzhi, now lives in New York.

Today, the practice is still banned in China and persecution of practitioners continues. The Chinese embassy's website condemns Shen Yun performances explicitly and calls Falun Gong a "...cult that seriously harms the society and violates human rights, and is a cancer in the body of the modern and civilized society," without presenting concrete evidence to support that claim.

  1. This whopping 70-inch VIZIO 4K Smart TV is still $150 off at Walmart
  2. Horoscope for Tuesday, 11/22/22 by Christopher Renstrom
  3. Elon Musk reportedly fires more Twitter employees the week of Thanksgiving
  4. This classic Sacramento burger joint is the tastiest stop on the drive to Tahoe
  5. Why you don't have to show TSA a boarding pass with ID anymore
  6. Here’s when it might finally rain again in the Bay Area
  7. Aaron Judge spotted in San Francisco, will take meeting with SF Giants

So yeah, the story is a little messier than a five-minute dance performance can convey. But Shen Yun doesn't dwell on the complexities and shades of gray. Instead, it jumps right into two more random dance pieces, one involving lanterns, the other inspired by the Mongolian grasslands.
Intermission couldn't come soon enough. When the house lights came back on I picked up my phone in an attempt to wake my brain up. I opened Instagram and was hit with — what else? — a Shen Yun ad.

I steeled myself for a second half of more of the same: disorienting dance numbers, operatic vocals and a sprinkle of politics. The second half’s opening number didn’t catch my attention like it did in the first half. The second dance ended in a mimicked suicide. Another dance story seemed to be about a guy who trips on drugs and sees angels. That piece was followed by a soprano vocalist whose talents were impressive, but my enjoyment of her performance was marred when I realized what she was singing. An English translation of the heavy-handed religious lyrics was projected onto the screen — excuse me, the patent-protected screen. (Beware evolution's deceptive doctrines / Modern thought and ways change humankind / We display the Creator's compassion / His ineffable grace brings rays of hope).

When the finale came along I felt relieved to be leaving soon. It was another Falun Dafa persecution story that started exactly the same as the last, with believers in a present-day park. Except this time, practicing qigong movements cured a man of a broken arm and another man of a limp. The communist police showed up to beat the Falun Dafa again, but then a tsunami (not joking) started hurtling toward the park. A man in a white robe (might as well be God, so let's just call him God) stopped the massive wave by waving his arms at it. Somehow, this bit was even more confusing than the last Falun Dafa-centric act.

Everyone danced. The show ended. There was no standing ovation, only people standing to leave.

Like some unsuspecting attendees before me, I also left the Shen Yun performance disappointed Friday night, but for very different reasons. Most of the disgruntled reviews I had read were from people who felt blindsided by the show's political and religious themes, thinking they were in for a life-changing show of dance and acrobatics, not expecting to be served any anti-China or creationist messaging on the side.

But my preparation for the show was the opposite. I had been forewarned. I was expecting more propaganda, and at least that would’ve been more interesting. Instead, I was just bored.

Shen Yun has performances in three Bay Area cities: San Francisco (Dec. 30, 2019 - Jan. 5, 2020), Berkeley (Dec. 20, 2019 - Feb. 2, 2020) and San Jose (Dec. 26, 2019 - Jan. 12, 2020). Tickets start at $80.

Alix Martichoux is an SFGATE digital editor. Read her latest stories and send her news tips at [email protected]

  1. This whopping 70-inch VIZIO 4K Smart TV is still $150 off at Walmart
  2. Horoscope for Tuesday, 11/22/22 by Christopher Renstrom
  3. Elon Musk reportedly fires more Twitter employees the week of Thanksgiving
  4. This classic Sacramento burger joint is the tastiest stop on the drive to Tahoe
  5. Why you don't have to show TSA a boarding pass with ID anymore
  6. Here’s when it might finally rain again in the Bay Area
  7. Aaron Judge spotted in San Francisco, will take meeting with SF Giants

Chinese spies copy Shen Yun Performing Arts - ET

After trying to sabotage the troupe's performances for 8 years, the Chinese Communist Party recently decided to use a different tactic to curb the growing popularity of Shen Yun Performing Arts independent classical dance troupe.

Spectators attend a Shen Yun performance at the Palais de Congrès de Paris on April 13, 2013. Photo: Epoch Times

Regime officials from the cultural and propaganda departments funded the travel of their art and dance experts abroad. They will carefully study and analyze Shen Yun's performances, according to people and organizations in Beijing familiar with the subject.

It is reported that communist troupes, even if they cannot compete with Shen Yun, will at least influence concert attendance by creating similar performances.

More than 20 experts have been selected and sent to Shen Yun performances around the world, according to sources.

Shen Yun Performing Arts is located in New York. It was established in 2006 and focuses on Chinese classical dance and music. International performances have shown that Shen Yun performances are unique.

Tours usually cover about 100 cities each year, and the number of performances reaches several hundred. Audience members interviewed by Epoch Times, Shen Yun's media sponsor, praise the troupe's performance every time.

The decision to copy Shen Yun's performances is said to have been motivated by remarks made recently by Party cultural workers in Beijing.

At the annual session of the People's Political Consultative Council of China in March, Xu Peidong, a "state" composer, poet, and singer who has received many official awards, said he was "alarmed" by Shen Yun's success abroad, according to China's South China Morning Post. .

He stated that "foreigners" (i.e. non-Chinese) rate the show as "highly artistic", "exquisite" and "exhilarating". According to the Hong Kong newspaper Ming Pao, Xu added, “Shen Yun performances are held in many places in North America and are very popular. They make a profit just by selling tickets.” Chinese "official" tenor Yu Junjian echoed Xu's remarks.

This signal has caused alarm in the propaganda and cultural bureaucracy of the Communist Party, whose job is to expand the influence of the regime through the use of attributes of Chinese culture.

According to sources, even before Xu Peidong's remarks in Beijing, experts from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a government think tank, and some well-known Beijing cultural figures jointly wrote a paper suggesting how to "deal" with Shen Yun.

The report points out that Shen Yun's performances have created a sensation in the world, and encourages official arts organizations to conquer the international cultural market by using traditional Chinese culture by copying Shen Yun's style. The Central Propaganda Department took this report seriously, and this resulted in funding efforts to plagiarize Shen Yun's speeches.

Shen Yun's Chinese website has a notice that "Shen Yun's methods, content, design, and speaking style are protected by patents and copyrights... Violators will be prosecuted." A variant of the statement has now appeared in the Shen Yun concert programs.

Difficulties of copying

In March, Xu Peidong frankly discussed the problems of dance facing the cultural workers of the Chinese regime. He said that the party's own cultural events abroad are in a state of chaos, with troupes operating without a unified structure and, as a rule, putting on mediocre performances. "Things are pretty chaotic," he said in his speech, according to Ming Pao.

According to Shi Zangshan, an independent political commentator of the Chinese Communist Party, the independent performing arts company has been very successful in presenting traditional Chinese culture, and it is not easy for the regime to fulfill its vision.

“The CCP has tried to destroy China's 5,000-year-old civilization, and to inject Marxism-Leninism into the minds of the public. But now even high-ranking officials do not believe in this ideology,” Shi said.

“There is a spiritual vacuum in Chinese society today,” says Shi. Successful Shen Yun performances that revive China's traditional culture fill this void.

It was clear that copying Shen Yun would not be an easy task after some of the experts traveled to Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and Europe to perform with the troupe, studying the dance technique, clothing, animated background, use of colors and orchestral work.

One of the experts who was sent to Japan told his friend that Shen Yun is "difficult to copy." This is not only due to the dance technique, but also because most dance companies in mainland China today are "mixed".

Official groups usually combine Chinese, Western and modern dance techniques. Thus, the dancers lack the pure, traditional artistic expression that a Shen Yun show has. “Maybe the Beijing Dance Academy will try to do it,” said the expert. “However, the choreography does take a long time to achieve.”

An expert from a military dance school said that several experts in Beijing have discussed this issue, but overall they do not feel “confident”. He noted that the surface elements of the show, such as the background, clothing, and to some extent the music, could be copied without much difficulty, but the dance itself would be much more difficult to perform.

Dancers in China have become pro-Western, according to him, their postures and expressions cannot be changed in a short period of time. Without major Western sponsors, it will be difficult to capture the Shen Yun market.

Some in mainland China's cultural community are excited about the communist regime's ridiculous plan to distribute money and pay for their trips abroad to perform.

“As long as the central government wants to run wild, who wants results? commented a friend of the famous star, according to a source. “As long as the Chinese media reports success, everything will go well.”

English Version

Shen Yun Concert Made a Deep Impression on World Celebrities

Did you know that Chinese traditional art reveals the kindest and brightest side of a person? The performance of the Shen Yun troupe takes viewers to the ancient world, revealing the wisdom of the rich traditional culture of the Celestial Empire and at the same time forcing them to deeply empathize with its heroes the dramatic scenes of events taking place in China today.


In the minds of the war, our vision was lost without advertising, and our spivrobitniki, apparently, are penniless. A lot of journalists with family, with children, they change with absolutely no expense for a foundation, Ale, they continue the healthy work, preparing reports from the city, like a stunned war, providing you with important and truthful information.

how to help journalists

The Shen Yun Troupe presents a classical dance direction, the concert also includes vocal and instrumental numbers. The team consists of highly professional artists. The design of the stage, costumes, staging are performed at a high artistic and technical level. The repertoire and script carry a spiritual and moral content. The performance of this collective fully reveals the splendor, diversity and relevance of China's ancient culture.


Miranda Zhou-Galati , one of the group's leading dancers, says: “In Chinese classical dance, not only posture and movement are important, but also inner beauty and moral content. It affected my character. Before, I could hardly tolerate criticism in my direction, but over time I realized that by accepting other opinions, I can develop as a dancer and as a person.


Shen Yun Performing Arts successfully travel the world, gathering full houses in huge halls.

Unfortunately, Shen Yun concerts are still banned in China, as some of the scenes reveal the communist regime's suppression of Falun Gong (otherwise known as Falun Dafa), as well as the triumph of moral principles over violence and cruelty.


Here are some of the testimonials from famous politicians, businessmen and art stars who attended the Shen Yun Performing Arts performance.

Eric Frederick Trump , businessman and philanthropist, son of Donald and Ivana Trump, after visiting the Shen Yun Performing Arts concert in 2012, shared his opinion: “The show is really good and exciting. Each scene has a special flavor, as if you are traveling through the times of different dynasties to the present.”

Misha Collins , director and actor, known for his role as the angel Castiel in the TV series Supernatural, attended a performance in Los Angeles with his children and expressed admiration for "the skillful possession of technology, the level of skill, the training of the participants and the sophistication of the show": " Compared to my degree of perfection, this is a completely different level, ”Misha added.


Kostas Menegakis , parliamentarian from Canada, gave an interview to NTD after the concert in Toronto: “I think the essence of any belief in the world is unchanged: the power of the spirit and God, something towering above us - that's what unites everyone people on earth. I would call the show excellent, don't miss it."

Dana Rohrabaker , US Congressman, watched the concert with the children: “I am very glad that they were able to see it, because, among other things, you can understand what the hearts of good Chinese people and all good people are longing for in Asia".


Mike Weatherly , politician, commented on his impressions of the show in 2012: “This is my first exposure to Chinese culture and I really enjoyed it. I felt joy throughout the performance.”

Kimber Eastwood , actress and producer, daughter of American cinema star Clint Eastwood and actress Roxanne Tunis, noted: “It seems to me that the world lacks spirituality, a lot of things are lost and forgotten, but the magnificent spectacle of the appearance of the Buddha in the rays of the aura seems to return us what was lost. This is a message about how anger and meanness can be overcome with kindness, love and generous patience, and it's beautiful. "

Richard A. Harris , editor of True Lies, The Bodyguard, Terminator 2 and Titanic, praised the dancers: “They are just incredible, moving so smoothly and easily, as if under them ice".


Lee Meriwether , a prominent actress and model who was particularly impressed by the vocals in the numbers, said she was "overwhelmed by the magnificence of the performance."

Robert Stromberg , production designer for Avatar, said he was very inspired "and seems to have come up with some ideas for the next film."

Terry Graham , corporate manager of Chevron Phillips Chemical, comes to see Shen Yun for the second year in a row: “We are sharing a tradition that is older than the United States, and it is very inspiring. Every time I enjoy going to a concert.”


Jack McLaren , Member of Ontario's local parliament, saw the show for the fourth time: "My wife and I enjoyed the music, dancing and costumes, which are different every year.

Learn more