We still don't know WTF a Shen Yun is but it's coming to Detroit

Staff Pick


"New image from the Mars rover"
  • "New image from the Mars rover"

When you hear that gong hit while attempting to watch a YouTube video, you just know that “5,000 years of civilization” is about to be re-the-fuck born.

The incredibly persistent marketing behind the touring dance spectacle that is Shen Yun has been plastered on countless billboards across metro Detroit’s landscape, unsuspecting website banners, and even our damn dreams (don’t ask). Through dance, music, and gratuitous use of colored ribbon streamers, the Shen Yun dance company’s goal is to revive the story of pre-communist China. Many allege that Shen Yun is nothing more than elaborate cult propaganda (“Shen Yun cult” is even among the top Google search terms). Others think it’s simply a trippy dance performance. Color us curious.

Here are some of our favorite Shen Yun memes.

Shen Yun's opening night performance begins at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 1 at the Detroit Opera House and will run through Sunday, March 10; 1526 Broadway St. Detroit, 313-961-3500; shenyunperformingarts.org; Tickets start at $80.

Get our top picks for the best events in Detroit every Thursday morning. Sign up for our events newsletter.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.