Although the show should have initially started at 8 p.m., the company had decided to add an extra mid-afternoon session in order to respect the French government’s decision to ban gatherings of more than 1,000 people.
Thus, two performances, each gathering 800 people, took place this Tuesday at the Corum of Montpellier in order to comply with the health measures in force.
An initiative the spectators welcomed with benevolence, aware of the efforts made by the New York-based company to allow the entire audience to attend the show.
Three additional shows have also been scheduled at the Corum between March 13 and 14, so that all spectators who booked their tickets for New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts’ visit to Montpellier can enjoy the show they have been awaiting for months.
The artists will thus perform eight times in five days, before continuing their tour in Aix-en-Provence.
‘We really get carried away, like in an ancient tale!’
Among the spectators present on Tuesday, the artist Aline Mascle-Brousset confided her joy of having been able to attend one of the two performances organised that day. Based in Perpignan, Mascle-Brousset practices lyrical singing and painting.
Her talent has notably been recognized by several prestigious art galleries in the Tribeca district of New York. Passionate about nature, she is also the author of the book “Ainsi s’en va le temps,” a collection of childhood memories blending humor and naïve poetry.
After the performance , Mascle-Brousset was full of praise describing the dancers’ performance.
“I was very surprised to know that acrobatics and pirouettes were part of Chinese classical dance! They’re very flexible, it’s a really graceful show, it’s like clouds! A lot of technique, a lot of discipline!” she said enthusiastically.
“The men, there is a lot of strength in their dances, and the women are very graceful, they are very, very feminine,” she added.
The beauty of the choreography and the virtuosity of the Shen Yun dancers more than impressed Mascle-Brousset, who was also greatly appreciative of the quality of the orchestra that harmoniously accompanied the dance scenes that merged the music of Western instruments and traditional Chinese instruments such as erhu or pipa.
“It’s really very original. We are really carried away by the musical rhythms, which is somewhat different from our own. We get really carried away, like in an ancient tale!”
‘Every scene is a painting’
Particularly sensitive to the aesthetics of the performance, Aline Mascle-Brousset was also captivated by the radiance of the colors and the beauty of the costumes worn by the dancers.
“Every scene is a painting! The colors are so changing and flamboyant, this inspires me as a painter. It’s beautiful, these are beautiful costumes and it can only inspire me! So, when I get home, I’m going to start painting. Thank you very much to the artists of Shen Yun!”
Beyond the visual aspect, the painter was also overwhelmed by the depth and richness of the various scenes presented where Buddhist legends, Taoist myths, and colorful dynasties are happily intermingled.
An abundant journey during which each member of the audience is invited to live in the rhythm of the 5,000 years of traditional culture that have shaped the Middle Kingdom, they are invited to discover the folkloric influences of a mosaic of ethnic groups.
“I think they really took us along in their ethnic and cultural history,” observed Mascle-Brousset. “We learn a lot from all the different cultures, we learn history, we learn the dances!”
‘May they continue to dazzle us, to give us this extraordinary joy!’
Shen Yun’s spiritual dimension did not go unnoticed by Aline Mascle-Brousset either. Moved by the singular energy emanating from the company’s artists and by the almost celestial character of the various danced tableaux, she believes that the show “deeply touches the soul” of those who are lucky enough to attend.
“I was very surprised to see this spiritual dimension, pleasantly surprised, I should say, because as a Christian, as a believer, it speaks to me,” the painter continued.
While the members of the Shen Yun undergo rigorous training at the Academy of Arts at Fei Tian University in New York, they also draw their inspiration from the practice of Falun Gong, a traditional Chinese cultivation discipline for the body and the mind aimed at raising one’s moral character.
Focused on Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance, the practice of Falun Gong gives Shen Yun performers more soulfulness and gives them the opportunity to transcend the purely technical aspect of their craft.
Initially encouraged in China, by 1999 the Chinese Communist Party had banned the practice of Falun Gong. Today, the artists of Shen Yun cannot perform there.
“I wanted to say that you absolutely have to see them, to support them, despite the opposition they face! Because, in perseverance you find strength! So, may they continue to dazzle us, to give us this extraordinary joy!” said Aline Mascle-Brousset.
With reporting by NTD Television.