Classical Chinese dance and music company Shen Yun has arrived in London, as part of its worldwide tour. Its mission is to revive China’s authentic 5,000 years of culture. The performance features dance, a live orchestra, and a digital backdrop. NTD’s Jane Werrell spoke with some of the audience members at the Eventim Apollo.
Charles van Oppen, a director, said, “This type of performance has, like proverbs. So every single scene is there for a reason to remind people of goodness and of humankind.”
Cllr Claire Malcomson, who is a Liberal Democrat, said, “Well, it wasn’t just about seeing a spectacular show, with colors and fantastic movements, it really makes you think.”
Shen Yun artists are inspired by the spirit of China’s 5,000-year-old civilization. Many audience members say Shen Yun is more than just a performance.
China was once known as “The Land of the Divine,” and in ancient times, its people believed their culture was brought down from above. But under communist rule, such traditions were almost lost. Shen Yun’s mission is to revive it.
“The narrators said tonight that of course this performance cannot be seen in China today, I hope the day will come when this performance can be celebrated in China as well as around the world,” said Benedict Rogers, the co-founder and chief executive of Hong Kong Watch.
“I want to see the day when China is free, and when people can express their different spiritual, religious, political views, and where ancient Chinese culture and traditions can once again be freely celebrated,” he continued.
A couple of the scenes from the show depict what’s happening in modern-day China.
“It’s probably the best show I’ve ever seen. I’ve seen lots of ballet, and some really good ballet, and this, I think, trumps it. [I was] really impressed … in particular, with the forced organ harvesting section that was done really, really well. It will raise huge awareness and it’s obviously reaching huge amounts of people and that is just excellent,” barrister Eleanor Stephenson said.
Through classical Chinese dance, the performers can depict characters from any time period, in a very vivid way, leaving the audience enchanted.
“It was just amazing … my wish would be for everybody, you know, not just Chinese people … I think if you’re a Chinese girl or boy watching that, you’d be so proud. But my wish would be for everybody to be able to see that—just everybody!—and appreciate the culture of China,” said Esther Deans MBE, who is an education lead.
Shen Yun will be performing at the Eventim Apollo until April 22.
NTD News, London