LONDON—Head of the U.K. division of a global marketing company Debarshi Pandit said that Shen Yun was “one of the most captivating shows you could ever see” when he saw it at London’s Barbican Centre on March 9.
Mr. Pandit, who is head of Omnicom Media Group’s Ethnic division, said Shen Yun was “very colourful” and “very vibrant”.
Shen Yun Performing Arts seeks to revive the 5,000 years of China’s divine culture, and its New York Company performed to a full house at the iconic Barbican Centre.
Mr. Pandit attended the show with his wife, who said next year the couple would bring their 4-year-old daughter. “Everybody should come to the show,” said Mr. Pandit’s wife.
She was also very interested by the hand-made costumes, which she said were very beautiful and illustrated the regional differences of Chinese ethnicities.
“I loved the outfits,” she said, “You can tell about the different regions, like the Yi people; they started to dance so differently [from other types of dances].”
Shen Yun presents a mix of classical Chinese, ethnic, and folk dance, and depicts dances from a diverse array of Chinese regions. The Yi people live primarily in rural areas of Guizhou, Yunnan, Sichuan, and Guangxi provinces, and have a distinctive style of dance and dress.
According to the Shen Yun website, “Shen Yun’s costume artists collect countless designs of traditional attire, ranging from those of emperors, ministers, and generals to the everyday clothing of the common people. They use bright colours to tailor and recreate hundreds of new pieces each season.”
Mr. Pandit found the traditional culture in Shen Yun rich and varied. “Everybody sees China as the world’s factory,” he said, “but they should know that China also has got a culture and a civilization, and I think shows like this bring that into focus.”
The couple said that they were going to plan their next holiday to China after seeing the show, and also expressed their wish that people in China could also see Shen Yun.
At present, Shen Yun isn’t able to perform in China. But, as the emcees in the show explain, being based outside of China allows them to freely present traditional culture on stage.
Reporting by Shaoying Chen and John Smithies.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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