LONDON, U.K.—Award-winning playwright Natasha Gordon MBE felt her heart was warmed, seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts tell stories of a divinely inspired culture on stage.
Gordon, the first black female playwright to be produced in the West End, knows intimately what the theater is capable of, and the human connection a great production can create. For Gordon, Shen Yun at the Eventim Apollo absolutely accomplished that.
“It is magical. It sort of goes beyond,” Gordon said after the evening performance on Jan. 23, 2020, where she watched a performance with her partner and two children. “The way you receive it, it feels like you’re part of the experience, which is fantastic.”
“I think you sort of go into a sort of trance. For one, you’re blown away by the stamina, the athleticism, the extraordinary contortion of movement that those incredible dancers are able to perform.”
New York-based Shen Yun is the world’s premier classical Chinese dance company, its artists classically trained in the purest form of the ancient dance system. Gordon added that she was blown away by the artistry of the production itself, which alongside the dance, used an animated backdrop and immersive orchestra to incredible effect.
“Everything about it really is mesmerizing—it’s gorgeous,” Gordon said.
For the playwright, Shen Yun gave a colorful and beautiful insight into another culture and its beliefs.
Shen Yun aims to revive traditional Chinese culture, which is 5,000 years of a divinely inspired civilization. Through music and dance, audiences glimpse a world where heaven, earth, and humankind exist in harmony, and values like compassion, integrity, and loyalty and brought to life through stories from the ancient past up to the present day.
“It’s a lot to take in in one evening, so I’m still processing that,” Gordon said. “There will still be elements of it that I will still be unpicking when I wake up in the morning, or even in my sleep tonight. But it was just a wonderful way to have a very rare opportunity to see these stories being retold in such a magical way.”
“It was just absolutely wonderful. The art of it, the music of it, the beauty of it, there’s just so many different elements that are just extraordinary to see,” she said. “We’ve just had a really beautiful, amazing, mesmerizing evening.”
Gordon expressed her congratulations and gratitude toward the artists and added, “whatever it is in you that makes you able to do that and to keep going.”
With reporting by NTD Television.