Have you see Shen Yun?

Shen Yun is a big production show from China that seems to tour all the time. They promote it using a huge amount of hype, direct mail, etc. Most entertainment that you really want to see just advertises enough so that you know it’s coming. This is a huge sales pitch.

Has anyone seen it? Is it really all that?

No - I’d rather like to, but the cost of the tickets is higher than my interest in seeing it.

I’ve seen it.

Some of it was quite enjoyable, but they really, really push their cult (Falun Gong). I’m not going again because of that.

Wife and daughter have seen it.

It’s really good. Worth noting is that it started in New York by members of the Falun Gong group(cult?). They have an entire segment about the persecution of the Falun Gong by Chinese government. The show is obviously not from China and would not be allowed to perform there.

Each year it is a different show and my mother-in-law pays for my wife and daughter to go. It’s a huge dance performance, is over 2 hours long, and is worth the money if you like that kind of thing.

My wife would not go again if her mom was not paying for it. It’s just a nice thing her mom does for my wife and my daughter. My son would be bored to tears.

I look at the posters with the dancers making flying leaps in their elaborate costumes, and think it might be interesting to watch. Then I look at the ticket prices. Even the cheap seats are hundreds of bucks. I’m not that interested.

EDIT: Oh, and I think that Falun Gong might be too big to be called a “cult”. They’re something like the 7th-biggest religion in the world (ahead, for instance, of Judaism). Though of course, it’s also by far the newest major religion in the world.

I’ve been wanting to see it for years, but finding someone who would appreciate the way I think I would is extremely difficult. I’ve had few Chinese friends I thought might be able to appreciate it, but the affiliation with Falun Gong makes asking a touchy subject.

Falun Gong is very likely not the seventh largest religion in the world. They claim to have 100 million adherents, but the generally accepted guess is that they have about 10 million of them. They’re not even generally considered to be a separate religion. They’re just a subset of Chinese traditional religion. Do you have any generally accepted evidence that Falun Gong is the seventh largest religion?:

I’m far from an expert on the subject; my information just comes from some Wikipedia page I stumbled upon in response to someone claiming a while back that Judaism was the #3 religion in the world. But there are a few different Wikipedia articles about relative sizes of religions, and it’s not like it’s hard to get inaccurate information onto Wikipedia, anyway.

In any event, 10 million still seems an awfully large number to attach the “cult” label to.

I suspect the cost is high do to the insane amount of advertising. They are in my area every winter like clockwork. The posters appear in shop windows 4 months before and heavy media advertising start 3 months ahead of the shows.

Note: We lived in China for two years and saw equal to superior shows for a lot less.

Then again, that was China and this kind of show is as common as seeing a play here. Honestly, they get tiring if you see a lot of them. Still, very talented group and hard to find in the US.

“For those who like that sort of thing," said Miss Brodie in her best Edinburgh voice, "That is the sort of thing they like.”

That’s what I was going to say. It’s very nice but boy do they push the Falun Gong stuff.

Saw in when it came to Detroit a couple of years ago. Parts of it were enjoyable, but their Falun Gong crap totally ruined it for me.

They often have a booth at our large downtown shopping center for months in advance of the show dates. From what I have seen, very few takers, and rather desperate salespeople.

So, what exactly does constitute “Falun Gong stuff”?

I saw it. I’m glad I didn’t pay for it. It was good for a bunch of high schoolers, which was basically what it was. You should be able to declare a portion of the ticket price as a donation to them (they are registered as a 501c3 and solicited donations that were deductible, just none of the ticket price was described that way like you often see for charity functions, probably because most people who attend probably don’t think of it as a charity function), because their prices are obscene for the level of quality of their work. Not to say it’s bad, but the dancing just wasn’t particularly impressive. There was one particular routine that I thought required a lot of skill and practice to be able to do flawlessly every night, but otherwise, meh. The soloist who played a string instrument was quite good in my opinion, but she was an actual adult unlike the kids who danced. They had an older guy do some singing and his windpipes were quite loud, but didn’t really move me emotionally as much, perhaps because the translations of the lyrics that were flashed were all about how the PR of China is repressing them. Oh, and he was loud. Very loud. Did I mention that he was loud? At least one of the dance routines was framed by some sort of story about a member of the Falun Gong being treated poorly because of their religious practices.

The whole show is built around how the evil Chinese government persecutes that pure and noble Falun Gong. Now, I’m not saying that isn’t true - I just would rather be entertained than watch a political diatribe choreographed and set to music.

And, as if that wasn’t enough, they also managed to get in a dig against the Theory of Evolution, of all things.

OK, so their message is basically more political than theological. Got it.

My wife saw it back in February and told me one segment was about Falun Gong, not more than that. The rest was more traditional. I guess we’ll see in early 2019 when she sees it again if that has changed.

i have been, would not pay to see again. I thought it would be more acrobats and dancing, instead it had lots of singing.