FRANKFURT—After beginning the European leg of its tour in Duisburg, Germany, the ShenYun Chinese Spectacular opened to audiences in Frankfurt at the Jahrhunderthalle (Century Hall) on Saturday evening.
The Epoch Times interviewed Wolfgang Hitzel, head of the Rödermarkt Cultural Bureau, who saw the show for the first time that night. Rödermarkt, a city with 26,000, is located about 20 kilometers southeast of Frankfurt.
Mr. Hitzel called the Spectacular "simply unique."
"I had arrived with some hesitation, thinking it would be monotonous and the melodies would be simplistic," said during the intermission. "But actually, the costumes, the color palette, and the music fascinated me, and I did not notice how quickly time passed. It is a unique experience for me, something unexpected."
Hitzel added that the most moving [piece] was the Falun Gong story. I had an idea about that from the Falun Gong exhibit in my hometown, and that is how I got to know about this performance. But all the dances with their costumes, the one with the ribbons, for instance, but also the drums — that is fascinating. I am delighted."
As an emissary of cultural affairs in Germany, Mr. Hitzel offered a comparison of the ShenYun Chinese Spectacular to other shows he'd seen.
"It leads one more to reflection. One realizes the different culture. Going deeper, it has more background. The show does not depend on flashy effects, on 'showmanship,' but leads one to contemplate and think of Chinese culture. German and international shows lack these attributes — they tend more toward hubbub, excitement, and special effects. The tone of this show is definitely different."
"As I already said, I am fascinated, almost at a loss for words," he continued. "I feel somehow transfixed, in a different world. I let this feeling take over and feel well in the process. One experiences conflicting emotions—the momentary impressions the show presents allow one to relax and be drawn into Chinese culture. This has already happened for an hour, and I am certain it will continue to effect me that way."
Prior to seeing the Spectacular , Hitzel said he had not had any exposure to Chinese culture.
"Not at all, no points of contact. We had a Falun Gong [art] exhibit by Ars Honesta in my hometown, but even then we were leery, trying to decide whether or not to present it," he said.
"But the people attending and their acceptance and the exhibit's success pleasantly surprised us, and that gave me a glimpse of Chinese culture. The light colors [in the paintings] and the playfulness led me to believe that behind all this is a solid cultural background, and that had influenced me favorably toward this evening. But that is the only contact I had with Chinese culture."
Mr. Hitzel said he was invited to attend the show by the Ars Honesta presenters as a "thank you" for the exhibit he had organized. "I followed their suggestion and am glad I did," he said.
Performed by Divine Performing Arts on Tour, the Shen Yun Chinese Spectacular will play three shows in Frankfurt before continuing on to Berlin and Hamburg. For other shows in the Divine Performing Arts world tour, please visit: www.shenyun.eu
The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of the Chinese Spectacular. For our complete Spectacular coverage go to http://en.epochtimes.com/features/dpa2008/