TOKYO—Shen Yun Performing Arts International Company made its debut in Japan at New National Theatre Playhouse in Tokyo on Jan. 29. The audience was amazed and moved by the performance. Under the enthusiastic applause at the end of the show, the curtain rose again. Mr. Eugene Yamada, a former United Nations official, was among the audience members.
Familiar with the Chinese drama and dance performed in Taiwan, after having lived in Taiwan for 10 years when he was little, Mr. Yamada was deeply impressed by the performance. “The program flowed very well. Both the representations of the technical and non-technical parts are perfect.”
He viewed it in two aspects, “One is the difficult dance techniques, and the other is the rich and diverse portrayal of emotions. Both are outstanding. They must have been going through quite a lot of cultivation practice and technical training.”
He talked about his feelings of the vocalists, saying, “Overall, the range of their voice is quite wide, which contains the deep meaning of the orthodox culture. As for the overall impression of the Japanese people, we feel it’s loud and clear. In addition, the representation of their feelings, including technical and emotional aspects, is both excellent.”
As for the spectacle of the first program, he said that he believed that gods have come to the human world and people can return to the heaven through cultivation practice. “Life is precious. People must have faith. Faith is meaningful,” He said.
“Watching good things is definitely beneficial for life. Watching beautiful things not only gives visual and auditory pleasure, but how precious is (being) spiritually affected by goodness. Shen Yun performance is really wonderful and excellent,” said Yamada.
Seeing the classical and graceful aspects of China represented by Shen Yun, he felt sorry for China’s current situation, which include toxic food incidents and the persecution of those of faith, etc. “I feel very sorry about it. China should have been freer, including freedom of speech and freedom of the media.”
Brilliant Combination of Dancing and Orchestra
With joy and surprise, music teacher Ms. Tamaki Satomi said, “This is the first time I’ve watched Shen Yun. How lucky I am to be able to see authentic Chinese dance. The performance broadens my horizons and the overall performance is exquisite!”
“I seldom see the mixture of dance and orchestra, especially Chinese dance and live orchestra. It is brilliant and I enjoyed it very much,” said Tamaki.
Tamaki admitted the she was a big fan of the orchestra conductor Sato Yohei. She said, “The orchestra he conducted expressed unique Chinese tunes and flavors. His music blends in effortlessly with the dancing movements on the stage. The overall combination of music and dance is perfect.
“By combining music, dance, and the high-tech background projection, they made it very easy for me to understand the content and meaning of each program. Each program carried a special story. There were vivid and interesting mythical stories as well as sad persecution stories. It was sad but in the end the outcome was good.”
Tamaki concluded by saying, “This is the first time I’ve seen dancing choreography embedded with such rich stories. Brilliant!”
‘I’ve Never Been This Moved’
Sasaki Satoshi, president of a hospital, attended the premiere in Japan with his wife. Also a vocal music enthusiast, Satoshi could not hide the excitement on his face as he walked out of the concert hall for the interview. He said, “This is my first time watching Shen Yun, and I have never been so moved!”
The Japanese may give the impression of being self-restrained, yet Satoshi was very articulate when speaking about his reflections of the show. “Seeing the live orchestra, the delicate colors and dance performance blending in perfectly with the animated background right in front my eyes—it was an indescribable, unprecedented tingling sensation,” Satoshi said.
“The opening performance Grand Descent of the Deities, with clouds embracing the heaven, reminds me of an enchanting land. It’s a feeling difficult to describe in words; it seemed as if the heart had been struck by something. I felt it’s the first time I’ve experienced such a tingle!”
With a round, rich voice, Satoshi is extremely fond of vocal music himself. Hence, he was deeply touched by the unique and elegant vocal technique of soprano Jiang Min. “I could hear overtone singing, a vocal technique different from Western Operas. It was very astonishing and heart warming.”
Deeply moved, Satoshi then shared the elements he found most astounding. “Shen Yun is not only splendor, beauty, and melodic grace, it is an expression of harmonious pure kindness and elegance, an artistic performance delivering traditional Chinese culture.
“I guess it struck me that this may be a state distant from China in the real world, and this revelation left me moved.”
Satoshi remembered being immediately attracted to the show as he saw Shen Yun’s advertisement on television. When he found that Shen Yun was forbidden to perform in the one country, two system Hong Kong, he purchased the tickets for Shen Yun without a second thought. To him, attending the performance took him on a magical journey from ancient China to the modern world.
Reporting by Ren Zihui, Lauren Lane, Zhang Benzhen and Lisa Huang, Lili Wu and Hsin-Yi Lin
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.