“In particular I liked the dancing,” said Emma Crichton, a business consultant. “You can imagine them dancing in a Chinese court hundreds of years ago.”
New York-based Shen Yun travels around the globe reviving the 5,000 year-old, divinely-inspired Chinese culture, nearly destroyed after six decades of communist rule in China, depicted through classical Chinese dance and music,according to the company’s website.
“The girls are so beautiful, so graceful,” said Ms. Crichton. She also found a lot of meaning in the history portrayed in the dances.
One dance set in modern China, The Choice, which depicts the current oppressive situation by having a young man face a choice: beat up a high-school friend, or protect her and the Falun Dafa practitioners she is with. Falun Dafa is a meditation practice guided by the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance, which helped over a hundred million Chinese people return to the essence of Chinese culture, Shen Yun’s website says. Falun Dafa practitioners are persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party.
“That was quite horrifying,” said Ms. Crichton, “We all know what goes on but to depict it in this way was quite an interesting way to do it, to put the message across.”
The dancers, adorned in colorful, handcrafted costumes, are choreographed to match digital backdrops and an orchestra that combines both Western and Eastern classical instruments.
Reporting by Peter Santfmann and Zachary Stieber.
Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world, with a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. Shen Yun Performing Arts International Company will perform at The London Coliseum until April 15.
For more information visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org