LONDON—For a retired international judge, the beauty of Shen Yun Performing Arts was overwhelming.
John Anthony saw the matinee performance at the Eventim Apollo in London on April 28 and said the show was “very impressive.”
“The energy, the precision, the beauty, I’m just overwhelmed, it’s so beautiful,” he said.
The classical Chinese dance company is the midst of its 2019 world touring, with six companies performing in over 130 cities across four continents.
Besides dance-based stories, the New York-based company also performs classical Chinese dance vignettes and musical solos.
Anthony said he was also very impressed with the digital backdrop incorporated in the performance, a patented visual effect in which dancers can seem to move seamlessly between the stage and the backdrop.
“I’m overwhelmed with the beauty of the panoramas that they produce, it’s so clever the way they’ve integrated film and actual living actors at the same time, wonderful,” Anthony said.
‘Belief in the Higher Spiritual World’
Through songs and stories, Shen Yun reveals China’s deeply-rooted belief system for modern audiences.
For thousands of years, Chinese people believed in the divine, as expressed through the teachings of Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. The values and ideas from such beliefs underpinned Chinese people’s thinking through generations, until they were denounced and removed by the Chinese communist regime in the 20th century.
“It’s very interesting to see how the belief in the higher spiritual world has been maintained throughout all those years of communism,” Anthony said.
“I would be delighted to see it develop because the Chinese people have such a wonderful history and it’s such a pity it was suppressed so severely during the communist years,” he added.
“When I was growing up, China was very much a closed society, it was very much communism and communists don’t believe in god or heaven. So to find that that spark of spirituality was never crushed by communism and is now blossoming …”
Shen Yun also includes stories set in the modern day that depict people obsessed with technology, distracted by their phones.
Following the performance, Anthony reflected on our current time, saying that the “world is in a very strange space at the moment.”
“It’s so sad we concentrate on trivial things, things that don’t matter, and the things which have great value and great meaning, somehow we tend to ignore,” he said.
With reporting by Mary Mann and John Smithies.
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.