BRUSSELS–Vesselin Garvalov was impressed by the Shen Yun Performing Arts’ classical Chinese dance and music presentation held at the National Theatre in Brussels.
The civil servant who works for an international organisation responded graciously after the opening performance on April 2. “They’re magnificent, the dancers are excellent,” Mr. Garvalov said.
Feeling the spirituality woven naturally into Shen Yun’s performance, he said he could understand the New York-based company’s desire to reawaken China’s divinely-inspired cultural heritage, almost lost to 60 years of communist rule.
“We understood that it was related to spiritual practices in ancient dynasties many thousands of years ago, which are now prohibited in Communist China,” Mr. Garvalov said.
“But I’ve never met the Chinese spiritual practices,” Mr. Garvalov said. “I didn’t know when I came to the show that it will be connected to such practises. But now I’m very fortunately inspired by this.
He practices meditation and identified with spiritual practices such as Hinduism and yoga, so was surprised to see spiritual elements portrayed on stage by Shen Yun.
“It’s educational I think for me. I was not aware of it, so I am very glad to understand these realities.”
According to Shen Yun’s website, “Principles such as benevolence and justice, propriety and wisdom, respect for the heavens, and divine retribution, all come to life, washing over the audience. Originating from Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism, these ideals are the essence of traditional Chinese culture.”
“Oh, this is great, it’s an excellent idea as well,” Mr. Garvalov said in reference to the digital backdrop screen.
“And the choreography, the design of the scenes, the costumes of the dancers, it’s excellent, just excellent.”
‘We can feel it’
Also amidst the Shen Yun audience were three human rights advocates, Badrun Pasha, Reba Rahman, and Dr. Eba Pasha. They are from the same family and founded the Bangladesh Women’s Association in the United Kingdom in 1971.
“Yes, it was very moving,” Dr. Pasha said. “All of us work with human rights organisations or non-governmental organisations in development … for Bangladesh women. So for us it was very, very moving.
“For me, I do not know enough about the history of China or the current government, the communist government. It definitely makes you want to learn more.”
Given the oppression by the Chinese communist regime of the spiritual practice Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa that is highlighted in two dance vignettes, she said the Shen Yun production was interesting to them.
“We can feel it, we can feel it,” Badrun Pasha, who is Dr. Pasha’s auntie, said.
“Today, on the surface, the Chinese Communist Party claims to be reviving traditional Chinese culture. But no matter how its efforts are framed, they are ineffectual. For the Chinese Communist Party removes the cultural essence of respect for the divine, thereby extracting the heart and soul of traditional Chinese culture,” the website says.
“Shen Yun seeks to revive these virtues the world over.”
Reporting by Mary Mann and Raiatea Tahana-Reese
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four 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