Shen Yun

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Shen Yun Performing Arts ("Shen Yun" 神韻) is a live dance and music performance that tours theaters around the world, though notably not in mainland China where performers and their families have faced persecution for their faith.[1] Shen Yun celebrates Chinese civilization, particularly its spirituality and cultural diversity. Performances feature classical Chinese dance, ethnic and folk dance, story-based dance, and an orchestra that uses both classical Western and Eastern instruments. [2]


Shen Yun was established in upstate New York in 2006. Its tours have included countries throughout North America, South America, and Europe, as well as Australia, New Zealand, Tiawan, Japan, and Israel. The Shen Yun tours were all canceled in spring of 2020 during the global COVID-19 pandemic. However, performances resumed partially in 2021 and have fully resumed in 2022. In 2012, Shen Yun also launched symphony orchestra tours without dance.

Critical Response

Shen Yun has been acclaimed for the quality of its dance and music. According to State Whispers: "Every hand moves as one, every turn, every arabesque is the same height. It’s really quite breath-taking and many ballet companies would do well to study the discipline of Shen-Yun’s dancers, along with their superb technique."[3]

A self-proclaimed tough dance critic, choreographer Elliot Treend saw Shen Yun in London, England and said, “I can be quite a nasty person when I watch performances and I take notes and I can be quite critical and negative, and I thought it was wonderful. I was really analyzing the choreography, analyzing the dances and they look beautiful. . .What can I say — yeah, I’d come and see it again.”[4]

Critics have also praised it for being family friendly. Geek Mom lists "10 Reasons to Take Your Family to See Shen Yun." [5]

Mainstream news media have run negative reviews of Shen Yun because they are upset by Shen Yun's embracing of tradition over modern trends. In particular, Shen Yun features one or two vocalists whose lyrics are often critical of atheism and evolution.

CCP Attacks on Shen Yun

Shen Yun has been harassed by CCP agents in the United States and other countries, including attempts by consular officials to get shows canceled and the slashing of Shen Yun tour bus tires. [6]

Shen Yun is constantly attacked by the CCP's 50 cent Army as well as leftist mainstream media outlets in the US. In a video entitled, The show China does not want you to see, NTD reported,

Beijing is known for using the Internet to influence public opinion both inside China and in the West...Negative changes are made on Shen Yun's Wikipedia page almost on a daily basis. You think, who's actually so motivated and has the time and the energy, who's not on salary to actually go and do this on such a large scale? And so you have these articles. But as the world gets to know more about the Chinese regime's tactics, sometimes the interference can also backfire, making the audience more curious to see the show because of the politics in China.[7]

Shen Yun bills itself as “a presentation of traditional Chinese culture as it once was: a study in grace, wisdom, and the virtues distilled from the five millennia of Chinese civilization,”[8] prior to the revolution of Cultural Marxism in the 1960s which exterminated traditional culture and opponents of socialism.[9]

See also