Shen Yun started its European tour last weekend with its first performances in Cologne–one of the oldest and largest cities in Germany.
The performance attracted many audience members from different artistic fields.
“Anyone whose heart is not made of stone will be touched by it,” said Uwe Mies, a German film critic.
“I have a deep respect and admiration for it,” said Borris Lietzow, a former diver.
Classical Chinese dance has been passed down for thousands of years among the people, imperial courts, and ancient plays.
“We were particularly surprised by the lightness of the cast, which was impressive, as well as the graceful gestures and fluid movements,” said Lisa Proehich, a ballet teacher.
“The lightness of the female dancers was so beautiful and inspiring for our next performance,” said Julio Acevedo, a ballet school principal.
Shen Yun singers are uniquely trained in the traditional bel canto technique. Today, they bring this classical technique to the modern stage.
Eduard Unruh is an opera singer from Aalto Theater in Cologne. He said he had a great appreciation for the tenor.
“I have great respect for the tenor. Because, [in Chinese], it’s not just the vowels that’s different from ours, but also the pronunciation of the words. And to express this while singing, I imagine it is exceptionally difficult. But that fellow sang it so well! I take my hat off to him.”
Traditional Chinese culture is based on the idea of harmony between heaven, earth, and humankind. Much of the performance, including the music, is inspired by these ancient values.
Many audience members said the performance had a positive effect on their body and mind.
“It’s overwhelmingly beautiful. I teared up during some of the pieces,” said Ina Hochgråfe emotionally. “That’s how beautiful it was.”
“Shen Yun has a positive effect, and I came out of the theater feeling happy, purified, and feeling good and free,” she added.
“It was wonderful! I especially liked the sense of harmony that the dance emitted, and the overall mix of colors, music, and other elements that were incredibly well-coordinated and beneficial to the mind and body,” said Katharina Graefen.
Some also say the performance was thought-provoking.
“There is also the divine aspect, the expression of faith, which has been lost in today’s society,” said Mies. “The performance opens the door for us to reflect and to experience. So, I think this is very refreshing and enlightening.”
“To be honest, at the final curtain call, with the standing ovation, I couldn’t hold back my tears,” said Thomas Mersh.
“I believe that [Shen Yun] will continue to move the audience and fill the halls,” said Unruh.
Shen Yun’s next destination is France. Performances will start there from Jan. 14.
NTD News, Cologne, Germany