Monday, February 24, 2014


Celebrate the recent Chinese New Year with more than a plate of General Tso’s chicken and a bowl of pork fried rice. Those are truly tasty and you can indulge but please add to that menu an exhilarating, elegant and exciting visit to explore 5000 years of culture and tradition wrapped in a won ton that is Shen Yun 2014.

Take an adventurous journey to Waterbury’s Palace Theater on Friday, March 7 at 7:30 p.m. or Saturday, March 8 at 2:30 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. to attend one of three astounding performances to commemorate the Year of the Horse on the Chinese calendar.

Every year since 2006, the New York based non-profit dance company Shen Yun Performing Arts has created a new graceful, lyrical and intricate program promoting Chinese civilization in its finest hours. With Chinese Classical Dance choreography that has martial arts components and all pure beauty, each year’s program is new and a dazzle to behold, with elaborate twirls and tumbles, kicks and flips.

Powerfully moving, divine and even heavenly, the dancers, fifty in number, who come from Australia, Japan, the United States and Taiwan, virtually from all over the world, create a living, moving painting. Training from a young age, the troupe of mostly boys and girls in their early twenties, are clad in amazing handmade costumes, 400 in number and all in an original design. Imagine Manchurian princesses with elaborate head dresses, lavish long gowns in silk and satin and flowerpot slippers as well as men dressed as royalty or soldiers or dragons.

The classical soul of China is allowed to unfold like the petals of a lotus flower bud. Each year’s program is stuffed with twenty inspiring stories,
like a dance revealing the origins of Buddha, known for his compassion, in each exquisite flowing gesture, facial expression, movement of hand, foot or head. The myth or tale could be of Mulan who disguises herself as a man to enter the army and save her father’s honor or the story of the Monkey King carrying Buddhism from India all the way to China.

Perhaps in the forty-piece orchestra you will hear the dizi, a bamboo flute, or the erhu, a two string Chinese violin, the tang-gu, a court drum, or the pipa, a Chinese lute made of bone, wood and silk. East meets West in this musical feast.

For tickets ($50-120), call the Palace Theater, 100 East Main Street, Waterbury at 888-974-3698 or online at

Shen Yu can be seen in 100 cities and 27 countries, but, ironically, it is prohibited in China due to the Communist rule.

Come enjoy this marriage of classical dance and ethnic and folk dance with the supreme goal of telling China’s unique story and history. The word Yun means spirit of the dance and portrays heroes and villains, magic and mystery. Take an authentic journey back in time with Shen Yun, filled with power and promise. Watch history come alive through the arts of music and dance.

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