AARHUS, Denmark—Sitting in the orchestra seats at The Concert Hall Aarhus, Hans Hollander said he could feel the spirit of 5,000 years of China come forth.
That was exactly the aim of Shen Yun Performing Arts, the premier classical Chinese dance company from New York whose International Company, one of six equal-sized groups, is currently touring through Europe.
“We are very impressed,” said Hollander, chairman of a European accounting company. He saw the dance and music performance on Feb. 8 with his wife Gunilla, and the two of them said it was a performance they would be recommending.
“Very impressive,” Hollander said. “So much power.”
He felt the performers were exquisite and the effect was outstanding. The Hollanders are familiar with European ballet, and this was their first time seeing classical Chinese dance.
Classical Chinese dance is at the heart of what Shen Yun does; the stories and legends of China’s 5,000 years, the scenes from various dynasties, and a glimpse of China’s multi-ethnic regions are all told through dance. Just like ballet, classical Chinese dance is a complex dance system that has been passed through the ages. It has its own set of movements, form, and philosophy, having developed over the millennia in imperial courts and theater. The dance form is famously expressive, and an effective story-telling medium.
Hollander said he was happy to see the authentic traditional Chinese culture as presented by Shen Yun. China has changed, he said.
When communism took hold in China in the middle of the last century, the regime set about systemic campaigns to root out the old, traditional culture and replace it with the communist culture instead. Temples were razed, books were burned, millions of lives were lost. And during this violent upheaval, traditions fell by the wayside.
But sitting in the theater, the Hollanders felt an optimistic note at Shen Yun’s reconnecting the world with China’s long legacy of tradition. It wasn’t something they felt they could neatly put into words, but something you understood when you experienced it.
“It’s marvelous,” Hollander said. “This is astonishing.”
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time and has covered audience reactions since the company’s inception in 2006.