STOCKHOLM—“It was really cool to see something like this here in Stockholm,” said flamenco dancer and choreographer Ms. Pia Pohjakallio about Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company's first performance at Cirkus in Stockholm, Sweden, on Sunday, April 24.
“This international level is just amazing,” said Pia Pohjakallio after watching the first half of the show.
Ms. Pohjakallio was trained at the University of Dance and Circus in Stockholm, and is currently working on her graduation project about flamenco dancing and a show with one of Sweden's first flamenco guitarists.
The ancient dance tradition in China has historically influenced other Asian countries when it comes to garments and movements. Much of China's rich artistic forms of expression have unfortunately been lost due to decades of communist rule. Shen Yun Performing Arts aims to revive the pure beauty of traditional Chinese culture.
“I've seen a little Indian and Vietnamese dance, and that was also exciting,” Pia Pohjakallio said.
She came to the show with her mother, Paula Pohjakallio, who is an entrepreneur. She praised the choreography and the well-synchronized dancers.
“I thought it was absolutely fantastic, the precision, everything happening simultaneously all over the stage. Amazing! I've never seen anything like it on stage before,” she said. “They're all so incredibly skilled. You can't fathom that kind of quality.”
Shen Yun Performing Arts includes both classical Chinese and ethnic dance, and several of the numbers include narratives through dance. Classical Chinese dance demands extreme precision in the many varied movements.
“You can see the precision and the actual work that has been put into the dancing and the choreography. It's very good for us here to see something like this,” Pia Pohjakallio said.
As a choreographer, she was fascinated by the differences between Western and Chinese dance tradition.
“I think that the choreographic ideas are quite different from how we work here. On the other hand, I come from flamenco dancing, and that is yet another approach to dancing,” she said.
The characters in the Shen Yun dances come from the old Chinese legends, and this has enriched the narrative dance numbers, which especially fascinated Paula Pohjakallio.
”I think it's just great! All the scenes tell a story, through dance. It's something new. Fascinating! The whole staging, too, with the images and colors. Amazing. Really, really beautiful.”
Reporting by Pirjo Svensson.
Shen Yun Performing Arts will perform at the Cirkus Stockholm until April 27. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org