Residents of the Esplanade Palisades Luxury Senior Residence learned about Chinese culture and civilization on March 23 in a presentation given by Ying-Ying Zhang, Assistant Director of Community Outreach for Shen Yun Promotions International.
Zhang’s presentation included an introduction to classical Chinese dance and Shen Yun Performing Arts.
Shen Yun Performing Arts is a non-profit organization which describes itself as the world’s premiere classical Chinese dance and music company. Shen Yun’s mission is to revive and carry on the 5,000-year-old civilization of China.
“When we sat down to write this presentation,” said Zhang, “we had many ideas. We wanted to make a lasting impression on people that would show them how vast Chinese culture and civilization are.”
Writing an introduction to this “vast” subject matter proved difficult. “In the end, we just decided: well, what do we know best? We know classical Chinese dance and we know Shen Yun,” Zhang laughed and shrugged.
The presentation was grounded in historical context and an exploration of broad subjects: ethnic diversity inside China, self-cultivation, and the changes that have taken place over the last sixty years.
“I was surprised by this group,” Zhang said about the audience. “The last time I went to a senior home, there was ringing silence every time I asked a question. Many people simply didn’t grow up with the global context we have today, and never had the chance to learn about China. By contrast, several in today’s audience have been to China, and were eager to share their experiences.”
Shen Yun Performing Arts will next appear in the greater New York area at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theatre. The shows follow a sold-out run in January, and will take place from April 18 to 22. For more info, visit www.shenyun2012.com.