China’s culture goes back thousands of years. Its mythology is complex and inventive, its music is otherworldly and enticing, and its dances are gracious and visually stunning. The political climate in the People’s Republic of today does not tolerate deep dives into that fantastical heritage, but audiences in Florence’s Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino have the chance to experience the wonders of ancient China in full thanks to Shen Yun, a unique performance that defies space and time.
Shen Yun was born in New York City in 2006 when a group of Chinese artists decided to resurrect their country’s rich ancient traditions and cultural practices. Legends, songs that bring back a long-lost form of traditional bel canto, and dances in the classical Chinese style that span five millennia stood a step away from extinction because they were incompatible with the contemporary political line. Thanks to the efforts of this creative team, however, the unique Chinese cultural heritage now finds new life in Shen Yun, a stunning performance that will make you laugh, cry, gasp, and become one with a culture as old as time.
The magic of Shen Yun hides not only in its ancient origins. Its production is modern and immaculate: the costumes are meticulously designed and impress with their many symbols and colours; the dances are choreographed to bring the old traditions to life and to marry them to the sensibilities of modern ballet; in the orchestra East meets West, and classical and traditional instruments play in perfect harmony; and the stage sets are so varied and detailed that your journey back through the ages will take but a moment until you find yourself in the olden times, immersed in a culture that was once almost lost to the world.
A unique amalgamation of old and contemporary art, a faithful recreation of the Chinese cultural origins, and an unforgettable evening of colour, light, melody and movement – Shen Yun is all of that and more. The unique performance keeps reinventing itself as it travels the globe many times over, impressing and thrilling audiences everywhere – now it is Florence’s turn to take a trip through the ages!