Rediscovering Chinese Music & Dance Before Communism 

The Majestic Era of Chinese Culture

Shen Yun Performing Arts – Lincoln Center in New York City
Rediscovering Chinese Music & Dance Before Communism – Pictorial brick depicting acrobats performing at a banquet Eastern Han Dynasty (25 – 220 A.D.)

China has been developing its rich cultural heritage for thousands of years. From classical Chinese dance to traditional folk music. China’s music and dance scene is diverse and vibrant, reflecting the deep cultural roots of the country.

The Origins of Chinese Music and Dance  

Five Dynasties Relief of Musicians 
“Color-painted Relief Scene of Musicians Playing” features 12 musical players, a troupe leader, and two dancers (907-960 A.D.)

China has a rich music and dance tradition that dates back to ancient times. Archaeological findings suggest that people used musical instruments, such as bone flutes and stone chimes, as early as 9,000 years ago. Early Chinese music and dance were deeply rooted in spirituality and folklore, as well as to entertain and tell stories. In addition, dancing has been an essential part of Chinese culture for over 5,000 years, as evidenced by Neolithic pottery that depicts dancers in various poses.

A 9,000-year-old bone flute from Henan.
A 9,000-year-old bone flute from Henan.
Rediscovering Chinese Music & Dance Before Communism 
A bowl from the Majiayao culture (3300 – 2000 B.C.) was decorated with figures of men dancing in line.

Over time, music and dance in China became more refined and sophisticated and developed distinct regional styles. Influences from neighboring countries also played a role in the evolution of Chinese music and dance. Despite these changes, music and dance remain an integral part of Chinese culture, with traditional performances still enjoyed by people worldwide.

The Influence of Traditional Chinese Instruments on Music

The Guqin

The guqin, a seven-stringed zither that has existed for over 3,000 years, is considered one of the most renowned musical instruments. Scholars and nobles played it in the past, and it was known as the “instrument of the sages.” The guqin is unparalleled in producing haunting melodies and delicate tones that can evoke deep emotions. It also provides a means of self-expression and spiritual contemplation.

The Erhu

The erhu is a notable instrument in Chinese music with its two strings and bow. Often compared to the human voice, it has a distinctively melancholic sound. Chinese folk music and opera frequently incorporate the erhu, giving performances a soulful touch.

The Pipa

The versatility and expressive capabilities of traditional instruments like the pipa, a plucked instrument, and the dizi, a bamboo flute, have greatly enriched Chinese music. Various classical and contemporary genres have widely used these instruments, making them popular and extensively utilized.

Traditional Dance Styles in China 

Han dynasty figurines showing dancers with long sleeves
Han dynasty figurines show dancers with long sleeves.

One of the most popular dances from the Han dynasty was the long-sleeve dance, which has been depicted in numerous images and sculptures from the period.

This traditional dance form has continued to survive to this day. The sleeves used in the dance can be either long and narrow, long and wide, or similar to the “water sleeves” used in Chinese opera. In addition, historical texts describe how the dancers would bend at the waist while moving their sleeves.

Dance has remained an integral part of Chinese culture for thousands of years. Like music, it has undergone various changes, reflecting the diverse cultural influences and dynastic changes that have shaped China’s rich heritage.

China has a long history of traditional dances, and one of the earliest forms is called “ritual dance.” It was initially performed during religious and court ceremonies to promote societal peace and harmony. The ritual dance involved precise movements and symbolic gestures representing different natural elements and celestial beings.

Beauty & Grace

The Lion Dance

With the rise and fall of dynasties, different dance styles emerged. During the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), the “Lion Dance” captivated audiences with its vibrant color, energetic movements, and acrobatic stunts. In the past, people believed this dance would promote well-being and protect against evil spirits.

Court dances became more refined and sophisticated when transitioning to the Ming (1368-1644 AD) and Qing (1644-1912 AD) dynasties. Graceful movements, intricate footwork, and intricate hand gestures characterized these dances. They demonstrated the elegance and poise of the imperial court.

The Yangge Dance

China’s diverse regional cultures have given rise to various unique dance styles. For instance, the “Yangge” dance, which originated in the rural communities of northern China, features lively movements and vibrant costumes. In addition, the “Peacock Dance,” performed by the ethnic Dai minority, showcases the beauty and grace of the peacock through intricate movements and colorful feathered costumes. These dances are just a few examples of how China’s rich cultural heritage has contributed to the evolution of unique and captivating dance styles.

The Peacock Dance.

Shen Yun: 5,000 Years of Chinese Music and Dance in One Performance

Shen Yun Performing Arts presents colorful and exhilarating performances of classical Chinese dance and music.

Shen Yun Performing Arts is a leading classical Chinese Dance and Music Company in the world. It was established in New York in 2006 by a group of skilled Chinese artists who shared a common vision and passion. Their aim was to revive the traditional Chinese culture that was lost over time and to spread it to the world.

For almost two decades, Shen Yun has captivated audiences worldwide with its breathtaking performances that bring to life the majesty of ancient China. Through meticulously choreographed dances, vibrant costumes, and enchanting music, Shen Yun transports viewers back in time to experience the artistic and spiritual traditions that flourished before communism.

Shen Yun’s performances showcase the richness and diversity of Chinese culture, spanning over five thousand years of civilization. Each show features around 20 pieces, each vividly depicting a different legend, region, or dynasty. The themes explored in these performances are varied, ranging from Tang court ladies’ graceful beauty to battlefield generals’ heroic tales. The arrangements also present timeless philosophical works and magical scenes from otherworldly realms. These stories of courage often resonate deeply with audience members, leaving them feeling emotionally uplifted.

Commitment to Authenticity

Shen Yun’s commitment to authenticity and excellence is evident in every aspect of their productions. From the intricately designed costumes inspired by historical dynasties to the meticulously researched storylines, Shen Yun ensures that the portrayal is historically accurate and faithful to the period. This dedication to preserving the cultural legacy of ancient China has earned Shen Yun international acclaim and a loyal following of enthusiasts who eagerly anticipate each new production.

Shen Yun’s performances are renowned for the exceptional skill of their dancers, who undergo years of rigorous training in classical Chinese dance. This discipline has been passed down through generations, and with their graceful movements and precise techniques, the dancers bring to life the beauty and elegance of ancient Chinese culture.

A Day in the Life of a Shen Yun Dancer

In addition, Shen Yun’s set designs play a crucial role in creating a visually stunning experience. Each set is meticulously crafted to reflect the historical settings and themes of the performances. From stunning palaces to picturesque landscapes, the stage is a canvas that transports the audience to another era. A performance by Shen Yun is 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. 

Shen Yun Reviews

Shen Yun 2024: Lincoln Center

Rediscovering Chinese Music & Dance Before Communism 
Lincoln Center, New York City

The live performances of Shen Yun receive thunderous applause and accolades from packed audiences everywhere. Admirers travel hundreds of miles to attend the shows, while others watch the same performance five or six times. So, why is this show so special? The answer is simple – no words can do justice to the breathtaking experience of Shen Yun. You have to see it with your own eyes to understand its true beauty.

If you want to witness the awe-inspiring performances of Shen Yun, mark your calendars for the upcoming 2024 tour. This tour promises to be an unforgettable experience that will transport you back to the majestic era of China before communism.

Join us as we travel to Lincoln Center for the experience of a lifetime! Only a limited number of performances are available; don’t miss out! There’s no more convenient way to go than to have Amazing Destinations handle all the details, tickets, and round-trip transportation! “We Take You There!” Contact Us today!

☎️ Call Toll-Free: 1(866) 599-6583 
🌍 Book Now, Pay Later: Shen Yun 2024, Lincoln Center in New York City

Read Our Reviews

Amazing Destinations, LTD is rated 4.88 out of 5.0 stars based on 25 review(s).


Amazing Destinations is the best. They work with you in all ways possible to make sure you have a great trip. They have top of the line buses n driversÉ After working with Cathy n Steve you will have gained new friends besides. K. Giannone St. Adalbert

- K. Giannone


We finally went on our Group Bus trip to Sight & Sound Theater to see Queen Esther this past weekend, we had cancelled this trip due to Covid and our church group of 37 were extremely excited to get back on the road and Amazing Destinations came through for us. Amazing Destinations had every COVID-19 measure in place to ensure a safe experience from the time the Bus arrived to restaurant and theater. B. Simpson First Baptist Church

- B. Simpson


Our family of 28 total passengers wanted to get out and travelÉ we called Amazing Destinations and they put together a fabulous day trip for usÉ Hand sanitizer was available for all of us. We felt extremely safe on the busÉ I will continue to use Amazing Destinations for all future travel plans. Thanks to Cathy you are amazing. M. Jones Custom Family Tour

- M. Jones


Cathy, Hi Cathy! I just wanted to thank you Ð we had a great trip! Students and teachers all had a blast. On another note, I wanted to say how happy I was in particular with the bus company, especially my driver Benitio. I have an infant at home that I am breast feeding. He gave me full range of his busÉ and was very accommodating. We will talk next year! Thank you! T. Johnson Assistant Principal

- T. Johnson


Good morning, Thank you again for another wonderful trip. Everything was flawless as always and everyone had a great time. Looking forward to more trips in the future. D. Stewart St. Paul's Community Church

- D. Stewart


Hello Cathy,É Thank you again for booking us to see Moses, all our guests were very pleased. So now we want to see DanielÉÓ Destination: Sight & Sound Theatre H. Smith Church of the New Vision

- H. Smith


Good afternoon, The trip was planned perfectly as far as timing and logistics were concerned. The activities were great and kept the attention of the students. Plenty to eat for all and some fun with the educational aspect, we greatly appreciated the organization from your company and look forward to the other trips we have booked with you! Sybil Harry S. Truman H.S.

- Sybil


Hi Steve, The restaurant was nicely set up and they were ready for us even though we were a little early... Kudos to the bus driver, Jesse. His service to our seniors was excellent. The play was great so much so, that one of the stars came on board our bus before we left to thank us for coming and how much they enjoyed our being there. Looking forward to our trip in September! Ruth 55+ Club

- Ruth


Cathy, The kids had a great time and it was a good experience for all. The drivers were efficient and very kind to the kids. They were always on schedule and very safe. The school is very happy and we are already talking about Boston in the fall. A. Murry Bergtraum H.S.

- A. Murry


On behalf of the seniors from Fred Samuel Resident Association, Inc and the Upper Harlem seniors, Ôthank youÕ for a glorious trip. We were most impressed with the bus ride there and back (with Abraham our driver) and the service that you provided us throughout the contract and beyond. We look forward to working with you again next year.Ó D. Blackwell Fred Samuel Resident Association, Inc.

- D. Blackwell


Good afternoon Cathy, Our group had such an amazing time. Thank you so much for such a smooth, fun trip. We will definitely be using Amazing Destinations in the near future.Ó J. Garcia Selfhelp Community Services

- J. Garcia


Good Afternoon, I want to take time to say Thank You for all you have done for myself and the Seniors here at Highbridge Garden Senior Center. We had a great summer and I hope things will continue. Steve And Cathy you guys are the best!Ó N. Smith Highbridge Garden Senior Center

- N. Smith


On time and on schedule

- Kevin O’Keefe


Timely and professional service!!

- Jennifer Mitchener


Hi Cathy! I just wanted to thank you - we had a great trip! Students and teachers all had a blast. On another note I wanted to say how happy I was, in particular, with the bus company especially my driver Benitio. I have an infant at home that I am breast feeding. He gave me full range of his bus so that I could pump. He took his stuff and napped on one of the other guy's busses, showed me how to work the door and was very accommodating. We will talk next year! Thank you! T. Johnson

- D. Boody


Dear Steve and Cathy, Before I begin my day here, I just had to take a moment to thank you for a LOVELY Trip. The buses were absolutely Gorgeous, the food on the boat was somewhat better than last year, the music was so much better, we danced and danced. Everyone complimented me on this trip even when I went to church yesterday. I really enjoyed this this year, and I am certain they will talk me into doing this again next year, but we must have the SAME BUSES. Thank you both for making this trip a TOTAL SUCCESS, can’t wait to plan our next adventure. Diana

- Diana


Cathy, Marie is elated at how well everything went! We had a great time and everything worked out perfectly. The bus driver and tour guide were fabulous. We are looking forward to our next trip in October. Thank you so very much. Beth

- Beth


Good morning Steve, Thanks for an excellent trip, not one problem. The bus and driver was top notch. The driver was one of the best I have encountered during my forty odd years of coach traveling. Four stars for Amazing Destinations! Thanks and have a great day. R. Scotto

- R. Scotto


Hi Cathy, Just an update of our trip to Holiday Hills. We had a ball and my seniors had a wonderful time, Our driver Henry was the best and we are requesting him for our September 17th trip to MT. Airy Casino. We already spoke to him and he said he would be more than happy to be our driver. Please see what you can do and I will remind you ahead of time. Again thank you for all your help with our trips. We still want to go to Villa Roma in December. Have a wonderful day. Thank you, D. Johnson

- D. Johnson


Hello Steve & Cathy, Hope all's well. Just a short note to thank you for all you've done to make our Lake George trip enjoyable. You are the best.....courteous, reliable, and accommodating. ...all in all, everything was great. Our driver Kevin was very nice. Again, thank you and we are certainly looking forward to doing more business with you next year. Best regards, C. Springer

- C. Springer


Hi Cathy hope all is well! Everyone had such a wonderful time yesterday during the Joseph trip. Now that we have finished with this trip, I would like to get information regarding the Samson show. Also, with the response being so great from this trip, I'm actually considering booking two buses if that's at all possible. Looking forward to hearing from you. Best wishes, Arianny

- Arianny


Good Afternoon, Just wanted to let you know...on behalf of my staff, students and parents...THANK YOU!! We had an INCREDIBLE TIME in Washington DC! The drivers were very respectful and courteous to all our needs. Our parents and students really enjoyed the food and hospitality at Golden Corral. Mr. Scott the tour guide, truly enhanced the experience of the tour with his knowledge and friendly nature. We must, must do it again! Next yea, we are thinking about touring Philadelphia! Once again, Thank You! R. Peay

- R. Peay


Good evening Steve and Kathy, I just wanted to say a very big 'Thank You'!!! Our trip was truly 'AMAZING'. From beginning to end the trip was awesome. Our driver, Mr Benito arrived on time and was perfect through out the trip. He drove with ease and got us to all of our destinations on time. The bus was perfect and everything we discussed was given to us. Our group had a beautiful time at the museum and the MLK memorial. Our tour guide Ms. Lynette was awesome. Her knowledge of Washington DC was phenomenal. As a first time trip planner you both helped me plan a trip that was just awesome. A great time was had by all. Even when we had a little 'bump in the road' you both made it your priority to contact me and the restaurant and speak on our group's behalf to solve the problem and to apologize for the restaurant's error. I really want to thank you both for that. Sincerely, D. Brewster

- D. Brewster


Hi Cathy & Steve, A great big 'Thank you' to both of you for working with me and organizing my weekend getaway to the Baltimore Crabfeast on July 29-30. We had a blast!!! From beginning to end, everything was wonderful. The bus, the hotel, the service. You guys rock. I definitely want to book the trip again for next year. As soon as you get your dates and rates for next year, please let me know so that I can start early. Thanks again. V. Proctor

- V. Proctor


Cathy, The kids had a great time and it was a good experience for all. The drivers were efficient and very kind to the kids. They were always on schedule and very safe. The school is very happy and we are already talking about Boston in the fall. Thank you very much! A. Pajares

- A. Pajares