Shen Yun Performing Arts has completed its run of London shows at the Eventim Apollo. Many viewers said the showcase of authentic Chinese culture resonated with them long after the performance. Among those inspired by what they saw on stage were artists and politicians. They were particularly moved by the scenes depicting what’s happening in China today.
Guided by their faith, Shen Yun’s artists have a deep sense of purpose. Many of the artists experienced persecution in China firsthand. But now, refreshed by the freedom they’ve found overseas, they can freely express themselves on stage.
Among those watching was former Conservative Leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith.
“It must take years of dedication and training to achieve the level of balance and of performance that they put in here and they do it all with a smile on their face, which I think I would find rather difficult to do, but they do. So I congratulate them for this fantastic artistry,” he said.
“I’m a believer in freedom of speech and freedom of association. And I hope that one day, China will revisit those things in the way that we have them over here.”
The performance includes scenes based on what’s happening in modern-day China.
Labour MP Marie Rimmer has worked on legislation to stop forced organ harvesting in China, and has spoken against the oppression of Falun Gong, a spiritual practice. She was touched to see these modern-day stories on stage.
“I didn’t know much about China. I’ve learned so much this evening. It’s just wonderful the way they’ve done it. And I just feel so sad for the Chinese people that have lost so much and I just pray, just pray that someday they get the peace that they deserve and they’re allowed to practice their faiths and live their lives the way they want to do.”
Lord Alton, a patron of Hong Kong Watch and vice chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on Uyghurs and Hong Kong, was impressed by the spirit of the performance, particularly the soprano.
“Hearing the soprano who sang this evening as well, talking about the wonder of creation, these are things that people should be free to talk about and think about, and that the Chinese Communist Party dictatorship doesn’t allow it tells you all you need to know about them,” he said.
“I believe in the story of the Creator. Of course, it’s all there in the book of Genesis, and so it’s something that many of us from different traditions, different backgrounds, different countries hold in common. And it was good, therefore, 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. And that is a story that comes through tonight’s performance as well. The things that you do, you may well be held accountable for. And it’s also that the struggle between good and evil.”
Mayor of Southwark Sunil Chopra invited the Shen Yun artists to his office, and presented them with a plaque and a letter thanking them for their contribution to the arts in the UK. It’s the second time for Chopra to watch the performance.
“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.
Shen Yun is inspired by the very best of China’s 5,000 years of traditional culture, and at the heart of each performance is classical Chinese dance. The head judge for the BBC TV show “Strictly Come Dancing,” Shirley Ballas, was deeply moved by the artistry.
“The costumes, the storylines, the beautiful singer in the middle is absolutely beautiful, the soprano. I think, from the beginning of the show all the way up to now for me, it’s an A-star show. I think people will thoroughly enjoy it once they get their tickets and go for sure,” she said.
“I think it’s definitely a show that should be seen globally and around the world. and anybody who gets the opportunity to see this show should see it.”
“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 are absolutely beautiful,” she added.
Shen Yun has completed its London performances, and its companies are travelling to theatres across Europe and around the world. Shen Yun produces an all-new performance each year as they continue to revive a divinely inspired civilization that was almost lost.