“It was a wonderful performance,” said Theresa Potocka, a futurologist, which entails studying potential developments in various fields based on current conditions and trends. “From a futurologist’s perspective it demonstrates the longevity of the Chinese culture and the beauty of it.”
The 5,000-year-old, divinely inspired Chinese culture was nearly destroyed by communist rule in China, prompting Shen Yun to form in New York and begin to travel around the globe reviving this “cultural treasure,” according to the company’s website.
“Sophisticated dance techniques, an orchestra joining instruments East and West, beautiful costumes, and a stunning back drop—this is Shen Yun at first glance,” explains the website’s Learn section. “But digging deeper, one discovers a sea of traditional Chinese culture. Mortals and divine beings merge on stage as one. Principles such as benevolence and justice, propriety and wisdom, respect for the heavens, and divine retribution, all come to life, washing over the audience. Originating from Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism, these ideals are the essence of traditional Chinese culture.”
“Everything really touched me in one way or another,” said Theresa, noting the sometimes subtle battle between good and evil portrayed throughout the performance.
Mum Jolanta Potocka, a journalist, joined Theresa on Thursday evening.
“I did thoroughly enjoy it,” Jolanta said. “It was beautifully done. The dancers were absolutely fantastic. The choreography was extremely touching—the grace of the lady dancers, and the warriors were very masculine.”
Shen Yun’s orchestra seamlessly blends a Western philharmonic orchestra and traditional Chinese instruments, such as the dizi, pipa, suono, and gong. Although Chinese instruments can convey any human emotion, “the focus of Chinese music is not merely on people,” explains Shen Yun’s website.
“Perhaps due to the fact that their materials originate from the natural world, they are adept at evoking scenes both natural and heavenly. Truly, the things that Chinese music is capable of expressing are both lofty and profound.”
“It was fantastic and the music is excellent as well, because it touches on Chinese music as well.” said Jolanta. “It brings an element of Western music also.”
“The costumes were beautiful,” she added, referring to the elaborate, handmade costumes, that have received compliments from famous fashion designers the world over. “One can learn a lot about Chinese culture from the show.”
Reporting by Jingxing Li 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 through April 15.
For more information visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org