Coming to New Jersey #Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark, the colossal Shen Yun has a five-day, six-performance residency beginning Wednesday, May 3, through Sunday, May 7. Shen Yun (pronounced shuhn yoon), means “the beauty of heavenly dance,” more or less. On stage, you will see, not just a stunning display of musical or physical prowess, but also an outward reflection of each performer’s inner self. Do you enjoy Classical-style orchestral music played by roughly 40 instruments? Would you like to hear their lush sound accented by #Traditional Chinese Instruments? Do vivid dance segments enthuse you? Are you curious about ancient China’s history and culture? Then you will find Shen Yun, not just highly entertaining, but also fascinating and elevating.

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Global outreach

Shen Yun is a colossal 10-year-old cultural composite that is “made in America.” Each of its five touring companies comprises about 70 multi-cultural dancers and symphonic musicians, with various Asian artists skilled in traditional Chinese instruments—erhu, pipa, gongs and others—forming a unique part of the musical fabric. All singers and most dancers are ethnic Chinese, so they were “made in China” or nearby Taiwan or Hong Kong. The Company tours the United States and abroad, playing to sold-out houses everywhere.

Blended music styles

Composers create new scores each season, blending Eastern and Western concepts. Traditional Chinese music is all about inner feelings and can sound “delicate” to Western ears accustomed to music that stresses structure, harmony, and ensemble.

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Shen Yun’s composers meld the essence of both concepts to complement each other in a unique sonic tapestry. Chinese folkloric themes and ancient tunes get expanded, enhanced and adapted to the symphonic orchestra. Some of the 20 or so pieces in a Shen Yun performance condense into several minutes, full-length folk stories and even historic events.

More than song and dance

Every program number involves orchestral works or music with an occasional singer. Dozens of orchestrally-accompanied costumed dancers representing China’s many ethnicities present the major part of the program’s entertainment with vibrantly colorful, animated backdrops. The ladies’ subtle, gentler refinement is just as skillful and no less breathtaking than the gentlemen’s more energetic, over-the-top athletics that include soaring leaps two to three feet off the floor.

Surprise awaits you

On the Company’s Website (ShenYun.com) or their YouTube station, numerous videos of all lengths include audience-member reviews.

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People of every age and persuasion—both Classically oriented and those more interested in Pop, Broadway or other modern music styles—enthuse about the mind-opening, horizon-expanding exposure to China’s 5,000-year history. Others mention a palpable energy, the unexpected uplift, they get from the performers. Several say they were moved to tears by the sheer sonic and visual beauty.

Get going!

Shen Yun: six performances May 3-7, Prudential Hall, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, 1 Center Street, Newark, N.J.