BERLIN—Roland R. Ropers, author and journalist, saw Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company three times straight at the Internationales Congress Centrum Berlin.
“I realized after reflecting on the show at home that I couldn’t possibly get all the nuances the show imparted in just one sitting, no matter how good my memory was. Every time I saw it, I had a new understanding. You suddenly realize there’s another aspect to a scene,” he said.
“The third time was the pivotal point for understanding the divine and life on earth, for understanding what being on this side or the other side means.”
Shen Yun, based in New York, traverses the globe, reviving the 5,000-year-old, divinely-inspired Chinese culture, one that was nearly destroyed by the ruling communist regime. Through dance pieces that are less than 10 minutes each—in which the dancers are accompanied by digital backdrops and a live orchestra—Shen Yun takes audiences on a journey across time and space.
“Many of the tales and characters depicted in Shen Yun dances draw inspiration from ancient records and classics,” states the company’s website. “Based on documented historical events, these stories give abstract ideas—like loyalty, filial piety, selflessness, and tolerance—a concrete form. Timeless favorites, these stories are treasure troves of ancient China; once opened, the traditional Chinese culture immediately reappears.”
Mr. Ropers said that he never sees a performance more than once, but had to make an exception for Shen Yun to gain further understanding.
“I’m enriched by having seen the show for the third time,” he said.
Many aspects of the performance touched him, he said.
The dancers “move naturally and with such grace that it embodies beauty and gracefulness,” he said.
The vocal soloists—whose songs are interspersed with the dance pieces—also caught his attention.
“The singers have a great voice,” he said. “But I really enjoyed the message they imparted. The words contained the divine and that was what made me listen especially carefully.”
Sopranos and tenors sing all-original compositions, which are “brimming with philosophical reflection about human life,” according to Shen Yun’s website. “The texts go beyond the boundaries of nation, race, and culture, and have been fondly received and appreciated the world over.”
Mr. Ropers said he felt a connection with the lyrics.
“The singers told me to find my origins and my inner self—that will be instrumental as we head for our real home,” he said. “This was also presented through the background images and the music.”
Mr. Ropers also complimented the orchestra, which combines both classical Western and Chinese instruments.
“The tone elicited by the combination of Western and Eastern musical instruments is a rarity,” he said. “This was on the highest philharmonic level, and it pleased me very much to listen to the music.”
All in all, the third performance in three days was very fulfilling for Mr. Ropers.
“I feel good and enriched and I have experienced an evening that didn’t deplete my energies,” he said. “I’m not tired, but free of stress.”
“I hope this show conquers the world and the hearts of the people—they will learn why we were born,” he said. “It really represents a transformation that can happen if we let ourselves get involved. It is an appeal to humanity, calling them to wake up.”
With reporting by Alexander Hamrle
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.