(Minghui.org) In the first week of January 2024, Shen Yun Performing Arts continued its world tour with performances in twelve cities in Italy, the United Kingdom, Japan, and the United States.
Shen Yun Is Well Received in Italy’s Cagliari
After Shen Yun performed in Cagliari, Italy, two years ago, the show’s reputation spread widely among the local residents. As a result, the company’s three performances in Cagliari during January 3–5 were sold out ten days prior to the performances.
“Unparalleled. I can’t find a better description,” said Mr. Mannino.
“The tenor and the soprano were unparalleled… The lyrics were captivating. What’s important is that they reminded people not to forget that spirituality is far above the material level,” he said.
“This performance is truly extraordinary. Not only are the artists highly skilled, the messages delivered onsite are also exceptional,” Mr. Angius said.
He said of the values presented in the performance: “These are universal values that echo with a very old culture with a long history, and are closely related to nation, traditions, religious sentiments – these most noble values. These values are undoubtedly completely compatible with the values that we treasure.”
“I send my best wishes (to Shen Yun), hoping that they can continue, and continue to use this method to widely spread and allow these traditions to be revived and passed on,” he said.
“I’d Like to Express My Admiration and Support”
“As a Westerner, I’d like to express my admiration and support for the valor, courage, and determination of these extraordinary interpreters of ancient Chinese culture,” Mr. Mura said.
“What left a deep impression on me was that although they’ve suffered China’s dictatorship’s suppression, they still have the courage to spread traditional culture all over the world,” he said.
“It Is Our Honor to Have Shen Yun Perform in Cagliari”
Giovanni Chessa, a minister of Tourism and Commerce in Sardinia, saw Shen Yun with a friend on the evening of January 5.
“Shen Yun has traveled all over the world and has performed in the best theatres, so it is our honor to have Shen Yun perform in Cagliari,” said Mr. Chessa.
Mr. Chessa is no stranger to theater, and he shared he has never seen a performance treated with the same sincerity as Shen Yun by its audience.
“Other performances don’t receive the same applause as Shen Yun… [With Shen Yun] every program receives very heartfelt applause. This is applause full of gratitude and joy. Sardinians very much appreciate and respect Chinese traditional culture. They use applause to express their love and gratitude,” he said.
Mr. Chessa remarked that Shen Yun’s mission is part of what makes Shen Yun successful.
“The performance makes people feel very intimate and full of gratitude. Those who come to the theater already understand what kind of performance it is. Once you understand the situation, you will buy a ticket. Therefore, China’s traditional culture, ancient history, and the success of Shen Yun are no accident,” he said.
“People want to hear and see the stories and truths shown by Shen Yun. This performance evokes freedom and respect for human values. I can feel this from the intensity of the applause,” shared Mr. Chessa.
“I like [Shen Yun] very much. The superb skills of the dancers left a deep impression on me. The female dancers danced gracefully, and they danced so beautifully,” he said.
He also spoke about Shen Yun’s depiction of the ongoing persecution of Falun Dafa practitioners.
“Falun Dafa, as a spiritual belief, inspires people to respect nature and God’s laws. As a human being, this is how it should be,” said Mr. Chessa.
“Today, such things are still happening. This is absolutely intolerable. We are fortunate to live in a democratic world, but unfortunately, elsewhere in the world, there is no basic respect for personal values.
“We all come from heaven, and the important thing is that we have spiritual beliefs… Human society is based on values and the true meaning of life. We should respect the value of life, nature, and the value of human beings.
“We oppose violence; long live freedom! We support Shen Yun, support the Chinese people, and support all people who want to live in peace and democracy,” he said.
“Wonderful and Touching”
Professional dancer Luana Fanni saw Shen Yun in Cagliari on the evening of January 3.
“The performance was really a surprise for me. It was truly very beautiful, complete, clean, precise, and orderly. The messages delivered were very clear. Very wonderful and touching,” Ms. Fanni said.
“I very much like it… Although I didn’t cry, my emotions kept fluctuating. That was a kind of emotion that was different from the past… They touched my soul and pulled at my heartstrings. They told a lot to our group of people,” he said.
Ms. Fanni said that Shen Yun brought people “hope,” and “inspired people to think and let people believe that only people with faith will have a future.”
Theatergoers in U.K.’s Oxford Appreciate Shen Yun
All four of Shen Yun’s performances in Oxford, United Kingdom, during January 4–6 were presented to full houses.
“I Wish More People Could See It”
John Peter Kinkead, filmmaker and owner of Ravenhill films/Hibiscusfilms, saw Shen Yun’s matinee at the New Theatre in Oxford on January 6.
“It was wonderful… You know, I’ve just seen a show which is uplifting, joyful, challenging. It makes you think about the values we have. And this goes back thousands of years and is based on practices thousands of years old,” Mr. Kinkead said.
“Every form of dance draws on what was happening thousands of years ago: classical ballet, jazz, modern dance. I mean, it’s all there, you know: the movements and things. They’ve all happened 5,000 years earlier,” he said.
As an artist, Mr. Kinkead appreciated the vibrant colors and the company’s production quality.
“That’s the other thing that impressed me: the use of color, the costumes… I mean, it’s wonderful. And the technique of the backdrop with people appearing in this arena is brilliant. Very clever… I love the choreography. I love the movement,” he said.
Mr. Kinkead said the stories made him reflect on his personal values. “I think it makes you think about your own faith, your own life, your own perspective,” he said.
Mr. Kinkead had a joyful feeling while watching Shen Yun. “Oh, absolutely. I said in the middle of it, ‘It’s all about joy.’”
The male dancing was happy, he said. “The bit I thought was very joyful was from the mountains, the ethnic dance with the men. I thought that was wonderful. The [way] the men move. I used to be a dancer, not professional, but I did dance. And to see the movement [of the men] so light on their feet. And so were the women—they are just amazing, so I can’t fault it. I wish more people could see it.”
To the performers, who are Falun Gong practitioners, Mr. Kinkead said, “You’re all wonderful. I mean, there’s no question. And, you know, the standard is incredibly high.”
Paul Curran, an actor, saw Shen Yun with his mother in Oxford on the afternoon of January 6. He said the show was “absolutely fantastic.”
He said Shen Yun provided him with inspiration for an upcoming performance. “I’m about to start a play about Pakistan next week called ‘Lifetimes Three.’ Great, great inspiration,” he said.
Mr. Curran noted the flexibility and strength exhibited on stage. “This really is incredible athleticism. But it was so professional, so colorful, and life-affirming.”
The feeling of compassion throughout the performance was outstanding, Mr. Curran added.
“I think the performing arts are a very useful tool to be able to spread messages of compassion and unity, really. So it’s tremendous—tremendous. I think the company should feel very proud of what they’ve achieved.”
Mr. Curran said the orchestra and vocalists played an important part in the overall performance, especially the Chinese violin. “[The erhu] is extraordinarily evocative and powerful. The two tenor singers were tremendous,” he said.
One tenor gave a beautiful message, Mr. Curran said. “He was singing [something] like ‘only the Creator can save us’ in his lyrics. Faith is the most important thing in life.”
Mr. Curran was impressed with the spiritual message presented at the beginning and the end of Shen Yun’s performance, conveyed in the company’s name as given on their website: “the beauty of divine beings dancing in the heavens.”
“Congratulations! That’s why I think the title of the company is particularly perfect. Very well done,” he said.
San Francisco Audience Members Enjoy Shen Yun’s Artistry and Spirituality
Shen Yun presented four performances at San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House during January 4–7. The performances attracted audiences who were new to Shen Yun as well as theatregoers who had seen the performance in the past.
Constantin Roboostoff, a law firm partner, saw Shen Yun over ten years ago in San Francisco. This past Christmas, he purchased Shen Yun tickets for his daughter and son-in-law as gifts. The family attended the performance in San Francisco on January 6.
He said, “This is a show that is a must-see in life.”
“They Did a Wonderful Job”
Matthew Spivey, the CEO of the San Francisco Symphony, saw Shen Yun with his mother in San Francisco on the afternoon of January 4.
“It was very impressive—they did a wonderful job… I liked the message of the show—the idea of teaching compassion to other people. I thought it was really wonderful,” Mr. Spivey said.
“The music was wonderful. I enjoyed it very much,” he said.
He also said that he especially enjoyed Shen Yun’s erhu performance, a 4,000-year-old instrument that mimics the human voice.
“I Was Beguiled with Their Beauty”
Susie Guilich, a lawyer from Russia, saw Shen Yun with several friends in San Francisco on January 6.
Ms. Guilich said that what she liked about the performance were “the beauty, the color, the dance, and the message.”
“[The artists were] excellent. I was beguiled with their beauty and their ease. They were beautiful,” she said.
“We have a lot of Chinese friends. So the history of China, whether it be medicine, science, spirituality, I’m totally, I support them 100 percent. Not the government. The people are beautiful. The culture is stunning.
“Communism is a cancer. It’s gotta go. We’re all one. We are all united. It’s all about love and kindness. That’s it, that’s all it is. We’re all one,” she said.
“Kindness, Love, and Togetherness”
Dianne Piva, a retired real estate agent, had seen Shen Yun before. This year, she brought her friends Elaine Pieri, a retired property manager, and Peter, an artist, to the performance in San Francisco on January 7.
Ms. Pieri said, “It was visually just beautiful and I am intrigued by going from live to animation that it’s seamless. It’s magical and my favorite is the long sleeves because it is so whimsical, so beautiful.”
Ms. Pieri described the feelings she had while watching as “warm, and cozy, and happy.”
Ms. Piva chimed in, “Very happy, and I love the message. The kindness, love, and togetherness, family, and hope.”
Peter found “a lot of good energy” in the performance. “Of course the technical skills, the coordination. And the inner feeling of it is very nice,” he said.
He would like to say to the artists, “Thank you very much for your skill and dedication and your perseverance. I know how much work there is and how much concentration to achieve that.”
Ms. Piva said, “There are so many positions to the dance. It’s just fabulous. Thank you.”
“This Show Is All About Hope”
Eric Roul, a business owner, saw Shen Yun in San Francisco on January 7. This was his second time seeing Shen Yun.
“It is so amazing. The choreography and the story. I always love the Chinese culture personally. I love the kung fu movies, the monkey king fights evil. I love it. I love everything about the Chinese culture and it’s amazing because we realize that China is not a democracy, right? What the show proves is the strength and determination. Spirituality helps humanity to get better. There is a lot of value that I love about the show,” Mr. Roul said.
“The world we live in today, with the war, with the lack of democracy and freedom – humanity needs more wisdom. We need more spiritual life to be able to bring our humanity to the next level. We need to tap into something deeper than ourselves and higher than ourselves,” he said.
He said the message he received was “to just be more open and be more human and share.”
He also saw “a message of hope” in the performance. “This show is all about hope and I love it. It is the different pieces in the show that really reveal what human beings can do,” he said.
For people who have not seen the show, “I would encourage people to come to the show with an open mind and you are going to learn. You learn a lot more than you think the show is about. Like I said earlier, it is much more and the Chinese culture is so vast. So I encourage everyone to come see the show,” he said.
Reviews of Audiences in Other American States
“It Was So Moving in So Many Ways”
Janice Hisle, a journalist and author, and her husband Mike Hisle, the president of sales and marketing at an insurance company, saw Shen Yun in Dayton, Ohio, on January 3.
“This is the second year that we have been absolutely blessed to come see the show. As a former gymnast as well as someone with dance background, I am consistently blown away by the artistry and the perfection and the skill of these dancers. I was moved to tears a number of times,” Janice said.
“It was so moving in so many ways. I felt like it was heaven on earth. Like a slice of heaven on earth. I felt transported,” she said.
Mike said, “I enjoyed the dancing. I enjoyed the music. It just explains Chinese culture very well. And it’s entertaining… I would highly recommend anybody to come see it.”
“I Was Mesmerised”
Fashion model Basia Milewicz saw Shen Yun in Atlanta, Georgia, on January 7.
“I was mesmerised. Amazing live music, choreography, costume design. It’s obviously in a good spirit. Very positive and has a good message. Obviously be kind, be loving,” Ms. Milewicz said.
“Believe in your goodness, and believe in other people’s goodness.
“You must see the show. I’m definitely coming back,” she said.
Local Officials Welcome Shen Yun
Shen Yun will continue its 2024 tour with performances in:
Atlanta, Georgia, January 12–14
Berkeley, California, January 12–14
Worcester, Massachusetts, January 13–14
Norfolk, Virginia, January 13–14
San Antonio, Texas, January 13–14
Torino, Italy, January 12–14
Woking, United Kingdom, January 12–14
Sakai, Japan, January 13–14
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