The Monkey King

Image courtesy of Shen Yun Performing Arts



The world-renowned Shen Yun Performing Arts brings you China’s greatest adventure ever told. Join the mischievous Monkey King and his friends as they embark on a fun-filled but dangerous journey. The most famous story from the East is now brought to you with classical Chinese dance, music, animated projections, and brilliant costumes. It’s a delightful performance for the whole family!

The epic novel Journey to the West is one of the most celebrated stories of the East. It tells of a seventh century Buddhist monk who goes on a quest for sacred scriptures. And he has three bodyguards: Pigsy—a man-pig who can fly; Sandy—an ogre who turns into a giant fish; and the magical Monkey King—the most powerful of them all, though he also has quite the mischievous streak.

This quirky foursome are unlikely companions, but they will have to stick together to succeed. And they will need all of their magical powers. Their journey is fraught with danger, unexpected twists and turns, and even tricky monsters that try to eat them.

Welcome to a brand-new production by Shen Yun Performing Arts, the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music company. Join Shen Yun on this unforgettable adventure, brought to life through the universal language of classical Chinese dance—one of the world’s most ancient and exhilarating art forms. Along with the brilliant costumes and dazzling animated backdrops, it will transport you to an ancient land where virtue wins the day and wisdom shines forth.


Image courtesy of Shen Yun Performing Arts


This is a humorous and action-packed production for all ages. Through it all, you’ll get to know one of the most fun and loveable characters of all time—the magical Monkey King.



A mysterious rock is said to have absorbed the essence of Heaven and Earth for thousands of years until, one day, it gave birth to a very special monkey. He quickly rose to become king of all monkeys and, under the tutelage of a Taoist master, learned supernatural powers. Dressed in yellow hat and scarf, Monkey King has the ability to battle monsters with his long magical staff. He can also fly and can see through illusions. And he can even transform himself into anything he wants. What’s more, he can pull a hair from his head, blow on it, and turn it into more monkeys just like him. But Monkey is also mischievous—in one of his best-known shenanigans, he creates chaos in the Heavens and seems to be ruined. Yet the Goddess of Mercy appears and offers him a second chance: to serve as the monk’s first bodyguard.




The monk is the kindhearted leader of our heroes on their journey. Tang Monk is based on a real historical figure also known as Xuan Zang or Tripitaka. A humble but distinguished person, he wears a golden headdress gifted to him by the emperor. Because he is a particularly holy man who piously follows the Buddha’s teachings, demons believe that eating his flesh will grant them immortality. When faced with danger, he relies on his disciples for protection. If they act out of line, however, he can make them behave by chanting a special spell to tighten the metal bands on their heads, giving them a terrible headache.




Pigsy once lived in the Heavens, where he was a high-ranking navy commander in charge of 80,000 celestial warriors. However, he had a fatal attraction to Chang’e, the beautiful Goddess of the Moon, and was exiled to Earth for his inappropriate behavior. He was reborn as a pig-man creature and has become portly, greedy, lazy, and—as before—lusty. But he can still fight his share of demons with his trusty nine-toothed rake. When there’s work to be done, Pigsy’s the last to get moving, and when trouble’s in the air, he’s the first to flee. Still, when push comes to shove, Pigsy’s loyalty shines.




Like Pigsy, Sandy had once been an immortal general in the Heavens. Yet one day, he accidentally shattered a precious vase and was banished to Earth. Sandy was cursed to live as an angry, bearded ogre that shapeshifts into a giant fish and finds meager sustenance by munching on people. His fate was finally reversed when he vowed to the Goddess of Mercy to mend his ways, and she arranged for the monk to adopt Sandy as a disciple. His weapon is a double-ended spear with crescent blade on one end. He is a dependable disciple who faithfully carries the group’s belongings over the long journey.


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