MINNEAPOLIS—Tonight, Feb. 22 at the Orpheum Theater, Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company delivered its first of three performances.
Simon Groselat, retired educator having worked in counseling, psychology, and teaching, and his wife, Annelise, were among the many theatergoers in the audience this evening. Mrs. Groselat is a business economist and CEO of project EVVIS in Denmark.
“It’s absolutely fabulous, very colorful, very beautiful message,” Mr. Groselat said. “I thought it was very entertaining, very lively, beautiful choreography, very delightful music. Just a nice blend of joy, happiness, peace, and love.”
Shen Yun was formed in 2006 by a group of classical Chinese artists to revive the true, divinely inspired culture of China, a culture almost completely lost due to the communist regime. Traditions have been passed down from dynasties and eras believing in the divine and harmony of between heaven and earth. Such values are the opposite of communism and are seen as a threat by the regime; thus, this performance can only be seen outside of China.
Mr. Groselat shared, “It makes me feel, have a heartfelt feeling, for the Chinese people that are in China and feel under the powerful government control, and the people that are here that are living outside of China put together this very well, this wonderful music with a message, that is not able to be there.”
“Kind of makes me sad, but it is also beautiful that it can be done here,” he added. “It made me think of other places too, in Africa, in the Middle East, South America, and other places where there is oppression of its people’s freedoms.”
An art form tempered over thousands of years, classical Chinese dance has helped preserve 5,000 years of Chinese culture. Built on traditional aesthetics, it was once passed down among the people, in imperial courts, and through ancient plays. Throughout the millennia, it was constantly refined, eventually developing into the vast and distinctly Chinese dance form we know today.
“I personally think it’s an amazing and deep way the Chinese people handle their bodies and their souls,” Mrs. Groselat said, “and how they are so able to connect so deeply with their body and soul.”
Mrs. Groselat said, “The Chinese have the ability to go the other way. To keep in focus that we are whole with our bodies and we are whole in the universe.
“And to freely talk about heaven, and about that you live again and again, and you come back to the gods, and that’s a very hopeful message,” she said.
“I love the joy and the fun that the Chinese people present here where it’s safe, and the professionalism is undeniable, they are so professional. They handle their bodies in a very remarkable way,” Mrs. Groselat exclaimed.
“I know they train from when they are very small and I know very well that it’s an art, a skill, and it is developed through thousands of years,” she continued.
“I like that they have this day-to-day perspective,” Mrs. Groselat related. “In this country, we have cancer, and we have toe doctors, head doctors, and they have this way of presenting the whole of the human nature in a joyful and a fun way.
“I love the humor and self-irony also,” she said.
“I think it’s beautiful, so down-to-earth, so natural that you include the universe. … So I mean they got it, they understand the connection, and then they are joyful and good old, ancient traditions,” Mrs. Groselat concluded.
Reporting by Valerie Avore and Andrew Darin.
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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