Shen Yun Performing Arts, a classical Chinese dance and music company, completed its run at the Dominion Theatre in London on Feb. 25.
Ten performances were set for London, but when those performances sold out, the company added another 4.
“The choreography, everything on cue, everything on point,” said Elliot Treend, a professional dancer and choreographer.
“All the dancers have amazing techniques,” said Rie Fujii, a dancer and model. “I can see they’re all from the best dancers from the world.”
“The colors in Shen Yun are phenomenal, the costumes are beautiful, as you say the way they glide across the floor, the material, you know, it’s not just thrown together, it’s meticulous,” said Scott Travers, a presenter and producer at U & I Radio.
“It’s a wonderful performance and I congratulate the director for putting on such a production,” said David Hurley, the deputy mayor of Gravesham, a borough in Kent.
China was once known as the land of the divine based on people’s belief that their culture was a gift from the heavens.
Under the influence of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism, Chinese culture was imbued with a host of traditional values, such as “good begets good” and “evil begets evil,” which people followed in their everyday lives.
But in 1949, the Chinese Communist Party seized power and began a systematic campaign to break people’s belief in the divine, destroying China’s ancient heritage in the process.
“For a long long time, I’ve been very interested in the spiritual traditions which have come out of China,” said David Furlong, a therapist and an author of several books. “I saw something about this show and I thought I really needed to come along because it seemed to be incorporating a whole spiritual tradition that’s come out China, but presenting it in a way we can begin to connect to in the West.”
“I admire this way of art with a spiritual dimension,” said Daniel Herman, the former Minister of Culture for the Czech Republic. “And I think it’s the best way how to bring closer to a normal citizens the message, and that’s great, really.”
“The spiritual aspect is wonderful,” said Johnny Ball, a TV and radio presenter and author of several books. “I’ve always maintained that God is within you. The fact that we’re all human, we all have a heart, and if we’re given the chance, we can all be honest and we can all be decent with each other, and I think that’s where religion lies, in our own hearts.”
“One sensed the combination of a tradition which has lasted for thousands of years and yet is still relevant today. It’s wonderful to see that not having been lost,” said George Hosking OBE, a criminologist and founder of the WAVE (Worldwide Alternatives to Violence) Trust.
In 2006, leading Chinese artists from around the world came together in New York to form the independent performing arts company that is now Shen Yun. Its mission is to revive China’s divinely inspired culture through the arts, and to share it with the world.
“I think they are universal values that apply to many people, many cultures. I think it shows a lot about tradition that hopefully can be preserved through these types of shows,” said Pablo Fraga, director at King Street Capital Capital Management.
Shen Yun will return to the UK in May for performances in Birmingham and Edinburgh.