AMSTERDAM—Spectators relaxed into the Shen Yun Performing Arts classical Chinese dance and music spectacular staged at the National and Opera and Ballet Theater, recently.
Among them was Bert Jan ter Braak, a journalist, who is also head of the arts department of The Telegraph newspaper.
“It’s very colourful”, said the journalist, who was touched by the joy exuding from the stage.
“Sophisticated dance techniques, an orchestra joining instruments from both the East and West, beautiful costumes, and a stunning back drop—this is Shen Yun at first glance. But digging deeper, one discovers a sea of traditional Chinese culture,” states the Shen Yun website.
“Mortals and divine beings merge on stage as one. 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.”
Anesthetist ‘Impressed’ With Shen Yun
Also in the audience was Ankie Koopman-van Gemert, an anesthetist who was awarded Top National Physician of 2010 in her specialized field.
Ms. Koopman-van Gemert was accompanied by her husband Pep Koopman, a psychologist.
“It was wonderful and very impressive,” she said. “I think it is what one really expects from the old culture. One sees in the show what one knows from the old books and stories.”
Mr. Koopman said Chinese traditional values and way of living in China came through in the show.
“We hoped to see it—and we saw it, the way it was before,” he said.
Ms. Koopman-van Gemert also noted that in modern day China, “finesse and elegance” is missing.
“In this show you can see that the origin of China was very delicate, and also very precise,” she said.
She said the New York-based presentation reminded her of the Bible.
“Some of the Buddhist stories reminded me of Christianity,” she said. “There are similarities to our culture. And I thought I should read more about Buddhism. It made me more interested in Buddhist beliefs.”
Ms. Koopman-van Gemert also enjoyed the humour sprinkled throughout the show.
“When I saw the humour in the show, I thought ‘that´s great!’ And the stories are amazing as well.”
Mr. Koopman said when he was a lad, he learned about the farmers in China. “But what you can see here tonight is the high culture of China. We know it from the books, but here we experience it alive. You also see the goodness of these people,” he said.
“It´s good to have the show in Holland, and we´ll definitely come back next year!”
The couple are also contemplating seeing Shen Yun again in April when it comes to The Hague.
Singer, Rapper, Presenter, Enjoys Shen Yun
Also enjoying Shen Yun was Frans Frederiks, a singer, rapper, and presenter from the Netherlands.
“I’m enjoying myself very much and I’m learning a lot. I like the interaction between the videos and dancers and the music. I think the orchestra was great. I’m having a very good time.”
With state-of-the-art graphics technology, Shen Yun’s digital-backdrop team creates vividly animated settings, extending the stage and transporting the audience to a world where heaven and earth are one.
Mr. Frederiks commented on the spirituality conveyed in the Shen Yun production. “I think the whole world is going through a spiritual revival and there is a lot of spirituality [in the performance],” he said.
He said Shen Yun’s compilation of a lot of “beautiful old stories” that could not be told in modern day China should be told.
“So I think this is a very good way to make sure those stories don’t get lost,” Mr. Frederiks said.
“It’s the oldest story on earth and it’s the story for all of us—who we are, where we’re from and where we’re going. There are many clues throughout history.”
Mr. Frederiks took the lyrics of a song which alluded to, “you have to take a pill to see through the illusion. A piece like that is almost like the movie, ‘The Matrix.’”
“You have to unveil everything to get to the truth. And that’s the general feeling I get from the performance which resonates with me from a deep level.”
He said Shen Yun’s mission to revive 5,000 years of China’s divinely-inspired culture was a lot of material to put into one show.
“I imagine that the creation process is that [Shen Yun] has to cut out a lot, really get to the core. But I think [they] are doing a very nice job.”
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit Shen Yun Performing Arts.
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