When: Wed., Jan. 17, 7:30 p.m.
The work of the world's leading Chinese classical and folk dance ensemble cannot be seen in China, where communist regimes have sought to suppress these venerable, ancient forms. This is why the twelve-year-old ensemble Shen Yun Performing Arts took shape in New York City, an aptly globalist base from which it projects a spectacular vision of China's history onto the world stage. Combining traditional dance with dazzling costumes, grand music, and engulfing animated backdrops, the company resurrects five millennia of Chinese dynasties and legends with honed athleticism and beauty. It takes more than a hundred artists to pull it off, plus an orchestra blending Western and Chinese instruments. It's spectacle with a soul, an extravaganza with an ethics. —Brian Howe