Restaurant Company Director: Shen Yun ‘Well worth seeing’

April 1, 2012 Updated: October 1, 2015
Ms. Doris Engelland, director of The Cooking Ape
Ms. Doris Engelland, director of The Cooking Ape, attends Shen Yun Performing Arts in Frankfurt. (Jason Wang/The Epoch Times)

FRANKFURT—The Jahrhunderthalle in Frankfurt am Main played host to Shen Yun Performing Arts International Company’s closing performance on the evening of March 31.

Ms. Doris Engelland, director of The Cooking Ape, with restaurant and catering facilities, has seen Shen Yun for three years in a row.

New York-based Shen Yun is the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music company. Formed in 2006, the company consists of the world’s top overseas Chinese performing artists, who seek to revive traditional Chinese culture and art forms.

“Every year, Shen Yun unveils an entirely new lineup of dances, songs, and musical scores. At the core of Shen Yun’s performances is classical Chinese dance with China’s numerous ethnic and folk dance styles rounding out the evening,” says the company’s website.

“Every time I see Shen Yun it is different from the previous year. The themes and the dance performances are never the same,” Ms. Engelland said.

“It is well worth seeing the show, because it is wonderful entertainment and the stage set-up is great.”

Ms. Engelland said that she buys a ticket at the front of the theater so that she doesn’t miss a thing and can see the facial expressions of the artists. Although, she said when she sees the show next year she “may see the show twice in the same year, and the second time around, I’ll sit further back and I might notice something I might have missed sitting up close.”

“All one needs to do is sit down, enjoy and have a wonderful time,” she added.

Ms. Engelland said she was amazed by the discipline of the dancers. “Everything is so perfect, there are so many dancers and yet they are so well synchronized,” she said.

“Classical Chinese dance is composed of three main parts: bearing, form, and technical skill. Other than complete training in the fundamentals, it also entails systematic training in movements and postures, as well as very difficult jumping and tumbling techniques. And so, alongside ballet, classical Chinese dance is one of the most comprehensive dance systems in the world,” according to the Shen Yun website.

“One imagines that the dance movements are so easy, but it truly is hard work and it is at a higher level that these dancers can perform without a single mistake. I’m highly impressed,” she said.

Ms. Engelland also enjoyed “the richness of the colors,” of both the costumes and the digital backdrop. “The different themes presented are so unique,” she said.

Shen Yun also looks at contemporary China and the repression of faith, beliefs and human rights occurring there today.

“It is good to also hear of the darker side of China. It truly fits into the entire theme. One shouldn’t just see the marvelous dance performances and the beautiful costumes, but also the more shadowy side [of China]. It was incorporated very well and harmonized throughout the show.”

Ms. Engelland added that she saw hope expressed throught the performance, the hope that any darkness will pass.

Reporting by Alexander M. Hamrle

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 in Stockholm, Sweden, through to April 6 and then perform at The London Coliseum, April 12-15.

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