(Minghui.org) During the week of January 24–30, 2022, Shen Yun Performing Arts performed in four U.S. states (Colorado, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Nebraska) as well as Salzburg, Austria.
Despite the pandemic and related restrictions, theatregoers were not discouraged and attended the performances nonetheless. Some expressed feeling uplifted and energised after the performances and encouraged others to attend.
“Precise” and “Impressive”
Karin Fisher-Potisk, the founder and artistic director and a performer of RICOCHET Dance Productions, saw Shen Yun in Salzburg, Austria, on January 24. She had flown in from London to enjoy the performance with her mother.
“I bought the tickets as a present for my mother for her birthday and I flew here to see it with her. It is physically very precise and acrobatic. The dancing is very exact, and the stage design and the music are just impressive,” she said.
As someone with expertise in dance, Ms. Fisher-Potisk shared her thoughts on the dancers of Shen Yun.
“The dancers are of course superbly trained, clearly from the technique, from the jumps, and the exactness of the movements, so the choreography is simply super precise. The additional great thing is that there are also acrobatic elements in it,” she said.
“Brings a Lot of Hope”
Ariana Haering, the pianist of the Alban Berg Ensemble, saw Shen Yun with her daughter Flora in Salzburg, Austria, on January 26.
As a musician, Ms. Haering was impressed with Shen Yun’s live orchestra. She was particularly pleased in seeing a female conductor leading the ensemble.
“The music surprises me. I am very excited about the way it is played, the wonderful articulation, and also the very beautiful ensemble sound. They have great possibilities and great instrumentalists, you can hear that. Wonderful musicians who play together and—a female conductor.
“I like her energy very much. She catches everything, even the energy that takes place on stage, and does this in connection with the orchestra,” Ms. Haering said.
She also noted that despite the pandemic, Shen Yun’s energy left her feeling hope.
“I think it brings a lot of hope… It is noticeable and it naturally lifts us up and allows us to have a much higher access to energies,” she said.
Her daughter also shared her impression of New York-based Shen Yun.
“It is pretty colorful, it was creative and really very beautiful. I have never seen anything so beautiful before,” Flora said.
Ms. Haering agreed with her daughter.
“Yes, very professional. [There is] a precision in the dance steps… The story being told also speaks of a culture that one would like to get to know better, which gives us an insight, that is very important,” she said.
Portrays the Divine Aspect of Chinese Culture
Dr. Martin Gollner, a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine, saw Shen Yun with his wife Julia Edtmayr, an independent lawyer, in Salzburg, Austria, on January 25.
He shared that although he practices Chinese medicine, the performance introduced him to the concept of the divine in China which is something he thought did not exist in China anymore.
“I like that there is divine belief in China as well. I didn’t know that before and I’m a Chinese doctor in training and I’ve realised here today that the divine also plays a role in China and not only regarding the body.
“This aspect is not mentioned in my training, it is always just wood and water… this element theory, but the divine is not. And that is new. And that communism has actually destroyed this world, that is also new. And today we have seen that tradition should return again, then China has a chance,” Dr. Gollner said.
The couple found that there were great similarities in the spirituality presented in the performance and in their own Christian belief.
“Yes, that is very similar! So the Creator has come to earth—I am a Christian and so is my wife,” he said.
He added that Shen Yun has shown him that although China has been taken over by communism and everyone places great importance on their electronics, the people there are still beings with their own thoughts and values. He shared his appreciation for Shen Yun for sharing that with the world.
“It’s great that Shen Yun is being carried all over the world because I think we might have a wrong image of China.
“We have the image that they are electronic people and that they are being guided by the regime—but they have a heart and a soul, exactly what is shown here. Every nation has its own traditions, its own dances and if you suppress that, it will not go well in the long run,” he said.
John Mangiameli, the owner of a hair salon, saw Shen Yun in Omaha, Nebraska, on January 25.
Mr. Mangiameli shared his thoughts on the importance of not missing out on the chance to watch a performance by the renowned dance and music company.
“It’s absolutely beautiful,” he said. He believed that the pandemic should not stop people from getting out and enjoying life.
“And when the almighty integrator wants to take you, he is going to take you. And [do] not be so afraid to get out and enjoy what is out there to offer at this moment in time because you can’t get it back because tomorrow is history,” he said.
Mr. Mangiameli was also amased by the precision of the dancers and the beautiful costumes and said that he felt very uplifted and energised after watching Shen Yun.
“Helping Me Appreciate My Culture”
Gail Faust, a former nursing teacher, saw Shen Yun with her family in Memphis, Tennessee, on January 29.
“I think there are a lot of people that see Chinese people as all OK with communism when that’s not really the reality… And I think it is brave… And it breaks my heart that they are having to live like that and not be free.
“It really meant a lot to me to see Chinese actors portraying their thoughts about their country,” Gail said.
She added that Shen Yun helps give context to her own freedoms.
“They don’t just perform it to help us better understand their culture… It was helping me appreciate my culture and I just feel really, really sad for them that their country is not free right now. And it just brought all that home for me.
“I teared up a few times thinking what they have to overcome to come here and do what they did, and care for us in the ways that they did today so well,” she said.
Since Shen Yun began touring in 2006, attending a performance by the classical Chinese dance company has become a family ritual for many.
That is the case for Gail, her husband Rex, and their daughter Kelli. They attended the performance four years ago and came back this year with Mila, Gail and Rex’s granddaughter, who is learning dance in the second grade.
Rex, a former Exxon accountant, was impressed by the Chinese erhu.
“You could feel what they’ve been through and what they’re going through, and how they loved what they’re doing and the struggles they’ve had and all that. It’s great,” he said.
As for Kelli, she loved the costumes and movement of the dances.
“I personally really just love the folklore dances and it was just, everything was just so beautiful about it,” she said.
“Hope, Love, Joy, and Life”
Daniel and Ruth Wilkey saw Shen Yun in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on January 29.
“Hang on, don’t give up, don’t let go of yourself. Stay true, keep blossoming,” was the message received by Ruth, a musician who sings, plays the piano, and has been a music teacher for 30 years.
She was astounded by Shen Yun’s vocalist. The baritone particularly impressed her with a song “To Heaven in this Lifetime,” which tells the story of the soul’s journey through the planes of heaven to await the Creator on Earth.
“That was powerful,” she said of the message. “There’s the hope and the love and the joy and the life, because so many things are pushing us down and oppressing us and threatening us,” Ruth said. She added that Chinese culture was being destroyed at the present time and that America was facing a similar fate.
“It’s a beautiful message, how you’re coming back to life with your traditions,” she said.
Daniel, a retired independent photographer, agreed with his wife and remarked at the performance’s healing properties. “It’s very bright. And the music also, it’s just so sparkly and lively. It’s been a joy,” he said.
He also expressed appreciation for the elaborate and fine architecture and textile designs from China’s 5,000 years of civilisation.
As a photographer, Daniel said he was overwhelmed by the beautiful colors in Shen Yun’s costumes and backdrops. He was also impressed to learn that Shen Yun’s style of dancing is an authentic presentation of China’s traditions.
“It is so beautiful, and the different color schemes and patterns where—as you go from the south of China up over past the Great Wall into the [homeland of the] Juchen people—very interesting.
“I think most people here in the United States don’t realize just how much variety there is in what we now we call China,” he said.
“The Men of the Juchen” is a dance depicting the culture of the predecessors of the Manchurians. The Juchen were famous for their horsemanship and skill in archery.
Daniel applauded Shen Yun’s artistic director. “I think the man’s a genius. I think it’s awesome, absolutely awesome.”
He added that he felt Shen Yun’s message is connected to the divine.
Whether the feeling of oppression comes from the outside or whether it is one’s own depression, Shen Yun always offers hope, he said: “The divine is watching out, so don’t give up.”
Cisco Systems Executive: Shen Yun’s Spirituality and Values Resonate with the Audience
Fred Mooney, an executive at Cisco Systems, said, “The show is absolutely beautiful and I think it, in a simple way, conveys a very important piece of Chinese culture, which I think is a very good message for Americans.
“The message is that, no matter where you go in the world, no matter what the politics are, no matter what your leaders say, everybody has a very unique and beautiful culture.”
Mr. Mooney expressed his appreciation for the essence of China’s 5000 years of traditional culture presented by Shen Yun. He said the spiritual element the show conveyed “is very, very beautiful and I think it will resonate with Americans because we share values at a fundamental level, such as the beauty of God’s creations and the spirituality.
“And you know America is a combination of so many cultures. We have so many immigrants, including Chinese, and I think it’s important that everybody appreciates what these other cultures bring in their diversity and just share the beauty.”
Mr. Mooney said that he was impressed especially by the song sung by the tenor about “how you need to reject modern ways and stay with what’s good and what’s natural, and that can resonate with any culture today.”
Account Executive: Shen Yun Shows Us How to Overcome the Darkness and Become Better People
Jeff Clouse, account executive with an office renovation company that has been in business for over 30 years, said that the show “was absolutely amazing! The synchronicity, the visualisation, the colors, and everything are just absolutely amazing.”
Mr. Clouse said that he did a little bit of research before attending the performance to get a better understanding of what the show was about. He said Shen Yun was “very inspiring, very uplifting.”
He recommends more people come see Shen Yun, because one can see from the show that people “can rise from the darkness that surrounds them and become better people.
Shen Yun continues its 2022 tour with upcoming performances in:
Cleveland, Ohio, February 5–6
El Paso, Texas, February 5–6
Jackson, Mississippi, February 8
Montpellier, France, February 4–5
Aix-En-Provence, France, February 6–9
For more information on tickets and dates, please visit https://shenyun.com.
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