(Minghui.org) During mid-to-late April 2023, Shen Yun Performing Arts continued to tour globally with performances in New Zealand, Italy, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States, with frequent sold-out performances.
Italian Local Officials Welcome Shen Yun With Special Reception
Stefano Allasia, president of the Piedmont regional council, shared his appreciation of Shen Yun’s efforts to revive traditional Chinese culture.
“It’s really admirable what Shen Yun artists set out to do when embarking on this project. A real mission to bring back to life traditional Chinese culture that existed before communism—through the beauty of art—and to share it with all other countries around the world,” said Mr. Allasia.
“Worthy of the Nobel Prize”
“I would call it a mondial masterpiece! It was moving, exciting—I would not use the word ‘performance.’ You are too modest. It’s a masterpiece,” exclaimed Giampiero Leo, councillor of Piedmont Region, who saw Shen Yun in Torino on April 18.
“It incarnates a grace—at any other time [in history,] everyone would have said it was divine. In a society like this that is losing its sense of true beauty, spirituality, and compassion—it’s much more difficult for people to understand it. There is much more need of [Shen Yun’s] wonderful work—of their education and message,” said Mr. Leo, who is also the president of the Association for Tibet and Human Rights and an adviser to the Steering Committee of the Royal Opera House of Torino.
He thought Shen Yun sent a very strong message. He has been active in advocating for human rights for years and is very familiar with the present-day challenges in communist China.
“I burst into tears because I know [what Shen Yun depicted] was unfortunately true. The stories about the persecution—seeing how it was told here with so much grace and truth—tears came to my eyes. I used a whole pack of tissues!” Mr. Leo said.
“The show touched on many things that are bygone—chivalry, heroism, the strength of non-violence. It is not cowardice because they are prepared to endure the risks. Shen Yun is bringing that message to the world. This, for me, is something worthy of the Nobel Prize,” he said.
Referring to the Chinese Communist Party’s ban on Shen Yun from performing in China, Mr. Leo said, “It’s absurd… This is one of the most beautiful things—It is done to emphasize and honor the greatness of China. The ban is madness.”
He was living in Italy during the time of China’s Cultural Revolution and followed its progress “when they were destroying everything.”
“A tree that burns its own roots becomes dry or artificial. It’s not [genuine] anymore… I find it sad that [communist] China doesn’t understand that,” he said.
Mr. Leo invited some of his colleagues and fellow elected officials to attend Shen Yun with him later in the week. “Only by watching it in person can they completely understand. It’s also a good excuse for me to see this greatness again,” he said.
“Shen Yun touches the childhood [innocence] that is inside of every one of us. It brings back everything that’s good. Growing up, you sometimes lose that—Shen Yun has it all come back. I wish Shen Yun has not just eight companies but 80 that go all around the world,” he said.
“There Are Just as Many Values as Possible”
Giovanni Vagnone, who saw Shen Yun in Torino on April 20, said, “There is a perfect connection between past traditions and hope for the future. And I find it makes everything very optimistic and very beautiful, in spite of [what’s happening] at this precise moment in China.”
“There are just as many values as possible, so I find that the message is the embodiment of the divine in the human. And so the fact that human beings can continue this divine presence on earth,” he said.
“This is a Show You Shouldn’t Miss”
“It’s a wonderful show. It underlines the beauty of Chinese civilisation and culture… What a tragedy that a show like this can’t be shown in China itself,” said Baron Alton of Liverpool, a member of the House of Lords, who saw Shen Yun in London on April 19.
“It’s of a very high standard indeed… I think the show is reminding people of something that could otherwise have been so easily lost but is always in the human spirit, in the mind, and in the imagination… this desire for beauty,” said Lord Alton.
“I think [Shen Yun] communicates itself as real beauty against some of the horrible ugliness and the violence that we see disfiguring the world.
“Hearing the soprano, who sang this evening, talking about the wonder of creation… are things that people should be free to talk about and think about… It’s something that many of us from different traditions, different backgrounds, different countries hold in common… and the Chinese Communist Party dictatorship doesn’t allow it,” he said.
As a patron of Hong Kong Watch and vice chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on Uyghurs and Hong Kong, Lord Alton said he “takes considerable interest in China.”
He was particularly moved by the story-based dance portraying the persecution of Falun Dafa and the state-orchestrated crime of forced organ harvesting from them as part of the persecution campaign.
“This is a very real live issue. It’s before the British Parliament at this moment… Forced organ harvesting… is a hideous crime,” he said.
“I think that people will go away from this performance talking about this… This will alert people all over the world… about the enormity of what is being done,” he said.
Lord Alton appreciated the spiritual message in the performance that we are all held accountable for our actions.
“It was good… to be reminded that we are not alone in this world, that there is a Creator, and that we are answerable as well for our actions to the Creator… That is a story that comes through in tonight’s performance… the struggle between good and evil,” he said.
“This is a show you shouldn’t miss. You must go to see it and then go away and think about the messages that it communicates,” said Lord Alton.
“Took My Breath Away”
“Being an international Latin dancer myself… I appreciate different forms of art, artistic dancing, the quality, the technique, the arm styling… It’s blown my mind away. I’ve never seen anything quite so beautifully choreographed in my entire life,” said Shirley Ballas, head judge of the BBC show “Strictly Come Dancing,” who saw Shen Yun in London on April 22.
“I’ve seen many dancers in my day, being the head judge on Strictly Come Dancing in Great Britain, and seeing these boys and girls today took my breath away… Each and every one of them [is] absolutely beautiful.
“The costumes, the storylines, the beautiful singer in the middle is absolutely beautiful, the soprano… It’s an A-star show. People will thoroughly enjoy it once they get their tickets and go for sure.
“It’s definitely a show that should be seen globally… and anybody who gets the opportunity to see this show, should see it,” Ms. Ballas said.
“Thank You for Making the World a Better Place”
Wendy Park was treated to Shen Yun in Auckland by her husband for their wedding anniversary. “I am just amazed… I really had no idea that the music would be so beautiful. I am really attracted to the music of course,” Mrs. Park said.
“I was thrilled with the orchestra, they’re excellent musicians. There was a trumpeter that played a part that was unbelievable. That is one very good trumpeter!” said Mrs. Park, the former finalist in the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition.
“Of course, the dancing is just exquisite. It is breathtaking. I don’t even know how to describe it. I just sit back in awe and wonder that the human body can do what they were doing… It is just glorious. The whole thing was just beautiful.
“It also taught us Chinese culture because we really don’t know it… So this was just so nice to see—the beautiful part of [the] culture, to see the dancing, the colors, the choreography, and to hear the beautiful ideas that resonate with Westerners.
“It feels very whole to us, I think: their beautiful ideas about life and existence… It was so wonderful.
“I liked the ideas: that we were divine and we came down from heaven. A lot of Westerners have that idea that we are divine, and we are originally from heaven, so that resonated.
“The other idea was said that the Creator would be returning, and we believe that too. We believe that our Creator would be returning, so there was a lot of ideas and truths that we just thought, ‘Yes, this is true.’
“We need to bring back the morals, we need to bring back God, we need to bring back faith, we need to bring back all this beauty that has been replaced with something that is not beautiful. The music [of Shen Yun] is beautiful, the colors were beautiful, the dancing is beautiful, and these ideas are beautiful. So we’re all floating home tonight.
“The 2-string violin, erhu, that was terrific… And the vocalists were beautiful; the soprano and the baritone. And the pianist was fabulous, so I just loved it.
“My husband loved it so much, he said, ‘Well, we will have to come every year. If it is going to be different, we have got to come every year’… I said, ‘Yes, you are right, we do.’ We are not going to miss this again,” she said.
Mrs. Park thanked Shen Yun’s creative director, D.F., and all the performers. “You are very brave… Well done, thank you for making the world a better place. Thank you for restoring such a wonderful culture,” she said.
She also described watching Shen Yun as feeling “full of goodness.”
“You feel like I have seen good things for two hours, and I have been watching beautiful, good things, so you float out of the room.
“In fact, we sat there for quite a while and did not want to leave because there was such a beautiful feeling from the stage, from the performers, from the orchestra—fabulous.
“I am going to recommend this show to everyone,” she said.
“I Enjoyed it Very Much”
Mayor Ronnie Thompson of Level Plains traveled three hours to Birmingham, Alabama, to see Shen Yun on April 22. “I enjoyed it very much. Choreography was awesome, and the dance. It was just so entertaining. I hate to see it end,” he said.
“Just reminded me of a higher being, that we serve a higher being, and that the celestial part of it that this is not the end. When it’s over, we’re all going to go be with the Lord in heaven.
“I will do my best to bring this to our city, and I would encourage everyone to come watch it, that they would get a spiritual uplifting out of it,” Mayor Thompson said.
“They Are the Ones That Truly Love the Country”
Daniel Zhai has been in the United States for about half a year and saw Shen Yun in Purchase, New York, on April 21.
“So astounding. Truly astounding,” Mr. Zhai said.
“Thank you very much Shen Yun Performing Arts, for preserving and digging out these very traditional things. They are the ones that truly love the country. Because she (Shen Yun) deeply loves the culture of our nation, she is able to achieve this and has to persevere to complete this great project. It allows people from other countries to truly understand the richness of Chinese culture and the brilliance of Chinese arts,” he said.
Mayor of London Borough of Southwark Invites Performers For a Visit
Mayor Chopra saw the performance in London on April 18. This was his second time seeing Shen Yun. “People love to see the lovely costumes the artists are wearing. So colourful, and a lovely message there, and it shows people should come and see the history of tradition of different cultures, different faiths, and different countries,” he said.
“Excellent. Keep on doing good work, and I’ll definitely come and watch you again. And they really work hard. I must say thank you to them for the hard work and their dedication,” Mayor Chopra said.
Shen Yun continues its 2023 tour with upcoming performances in:
West Palm Beach, Florida, May 2–3
Newark, New Jersey, May 4–7
Detroit, Michigan, May 4–7
Darmstadt, Germany, May 2–3
Paris, France, May 4–6
Canberra, Australia, May 2
Sydney, Australia, May 4–7
Monterrey, Mexico, May 1
Mexico City, Mexico, May 4–7
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