LONDON—Unique and spectacular was how Chris Baker, a retired City banker, described the Saturday matinee performance on the last day of Shen Yun Performing Arts visit to the Barbican Centre in London.
Mr. Baker worked in the City as a banker and organised the real estate and subletting for a Japanese company for ten years. He said this job made him “really quite fascinated to see the show [as] I’m really into cultural differences and what they can offer”.
He said he had never been to China and was interested to find out that Shen Yun cannot tour there.
Also, he had never seen backdrops like the digital ones that extend across the whole stage area behind the performers.
“These digital backdrop designs complement and synchronise all aspects of the performance: the characters, colour of the costumes, specific dance movements, props, lighting, the story being told, particular notes played by the orchestra, and special audio effects,” is how the Shen Yun Performing Arts’ website describes the integration of the backdrop with the dancers and musicians.
“The use of that scenery is very clever indeed,” Mr. Baker said.
After seeing Shen Yun, he said he thought Chinese culture was a rich culture and now wanted to go to China.
His wife, whom he has been married to for 45 years, said she felt uplifted by the performance.
“It’s quite spectacular,” Mr. Baker said. “It’s quite unique.”
A Lot of Compassion
Mary O’Mahony, who used to work as a financial adviser, was also at the sold-out performance of the Saturday matinee. It was her second time seeing Shen Yun and she was thinking of coming next year.
“This is my second year and I’m very luckily with my neighbours who introduced me to it. It’s wonderful. I know people who’ve gone twice and three times and I think we might do that next year!”
After seeing the performance she said she “came out among the clouds!”
“It was absolutely wonderful, the colour and a great deal of emotion—a great deal of emotion. I could feel it all around me. And I saw people crying.”
Shen Yun “reaches into your heart”, she said, and it “is working against the red devil”.
“People aren’t aware of it, really, the trouble people are in [in China] and we have such freedom here and it is very sad. You get a lot of compassion out of it,” she said.
Reporting by Rosemary Byfield, NTD Television, and Damian Robin.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company will next be performing at the National Theatre in Brussels, Belgium from March 11–13. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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