“The show was great,” said Member of Parliament Mike Weatherley. “What really impressed me were the costumes and the bright colours on the stage. It was really vibrant and it was really exciting to see all that going on, and all the activity—so many dancers, so many colours, so bright, so wonderful.”
Shen Yun takes one of the most comprehensive dance systems in the world, classical Chinese dance, along with ethnic and folk dance, and adorns the dancers with colourful, handmade silk costumes.
Other features of the New York-based company are innovative digital backdrops and an orchestra that combines classical Western and traditional Chinese instruments, such as the 4,000-year-old erhu, or two-stringed Chinese violin.
Mr. Weatherley said he enjoyed the whole performance and “got a feeling of joy all the way through.”
He particularly liked the dance Snowflakes Welcoming Spring, which depicts the final days of winter before snow melts to reveal the birth of spring.
Another dance that struck the MP was The Choice, in which a young man faces a difficult decision about whether to beat up an old female friend when she stands up for practitioners of the spiritual discipline of Falun Gong. The dance is based in the oppressive environment of modern China.
“The message was that it was a history, 5,000 years of history, which isn’t really allowed to be developed as much in current-day China, as I understand, from what I found out tonight, and that’s a shame,” said Mr. Weatherley. “There are parts of the history that are perhaps denied to some of the population—the freedom, the choice, that was raised very specifically, and poignantly raised, about the free-thinking person.”
In the end, Mr. Weatherley felt the performance would be beneficial to anyone and everyone.
“I’m very new to the Chinese culture and I enjoyed it, so I’ll be telling people about it,” he said. “And it’s something that just nudges you towards learning more about the Chinese culture and learning about the history of China … It’s very good to be able to see it.”
Reporting by NTD Television 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