STOCKHOLM, Sweden—On April 4, the Shen Yun Performing Arts 2012 European Tour reached Stockholm for a three-show engagement. From the orchestra pit at Cirkus, the powerful sound of the Chinese gong sent vibrations through the theater. At the sound of the drums, the curtain rises.
Mr. Finn Bengtsson, a member of the Swedish Parliament praised the show, calling it “an extraordinary performance.”
“This show is professional to the core, and it’s constantly changing,” he said. Mr. Bengtsson, who is both a physician and a politician, had seen Shen Yun four years ago.
A New York-based performing arts company, Shen Yun is dedicated to the revival of the traditional Chinese culture and presents classical Chinese dance, music and song, short stories depicting Chinese myths and history, ethnic groups and divine realms.
Traditional Chinese culture was all but destroyed after 60 years of communist party rule and the Cultural Revolution in China and Shen Yun is not able to tour to the mainland under the present regime.
Mr. Bengtsson believes that the Chinese regime does not respect its citizens and he called the ongoing persecution of the spiritual practice of Falun Dafa a “disaster.”
“We must act on this … We have to do something. I will try to do whatever I can,” he said.
Christina and Stanley Hedström, who work as human resources manager and airplane engineer, were also in the audience and were delighted with what they saw.
“It’s amazing. We are so in love with Chinese culture and Chinese music,” said Ms. Hedström.
The Shen Yun Orchestra combines classical Western and traditional Chinese instruments to produce a new, harmonious and unique sound. At the heart is a Western philharmonic orchestra, but many melody lines are played by traditional Chinese instruments.
‘An incredibly beautiful experience’
Marlene Mattison, who works within the Swedish correctional system, was in the audience with her daughter.
“It’s an incredibly beautiful experience, and also to see a culture like this. We have read about it in the special edition in the paper, so we studied that, and soaked up some of the culture. It’s amazing that it’s 5,000 years old,” she said.
The audience was delighted, and the performers received multiple curtain calls, after an evening of Chinese history and colorful experiences.
Reporting by Barbro Plogander
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 Cirkus, Stockholm, through April 6.
For more information visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org