LONDON—When 85-year-old Charles Peter Evanson heard that Shen Yun Performing Arts was coming to London again he couldn't wait to buy tickets.
Mr. Evanson, who worked in the antiques trade and was also a theatre actor before retirement, enjoyed the matinee performance with his son and daughter-in-law at the London Coliseum on Saturday, April 9, as a birthday treat.
"It's magnificent!" said Mr. Evanson, who had previously seen Shen Yun at another London theatre.
"The colour, the costume, the elegance, the grace, the charm, the serenity, the peacefulness— beautiful, beautiful, beautiful," whispered Mr. Evanson, his voice full of emotion.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts' mission is to revive the 5,000 years of divinely-inspired Chinese culture that has all but been lost under 60 years of communist rule, says the company's website.
Mr. Evanson has travelled to China and has a passion for all things Oriental. He believes in Daoism, so was able to appreciate the divine message of Shen Yun.
At the heart of each performance is classical Chinese dance, which captures the spirit of traditional Chinese culture through the retelling of historical myths and legends as well as modern-day tales of courage and compassion.
Two such dances, No Regrets and Our Story, tell the story of a mother and son, and a teacher, who practise the spiritual discipline of Falun Gong, but face harsh persecution in China today.
"My sympathy goes out to the Falun Gong. I cry for China," said Mr. Evanson sincerely.
The Shen Yun Performing Arts Orchestra provides the perfect soundtrack to the evening, blending a classical Western orchestra with ancient Chinese instruments to produce a unique and uplifting sound.
"Beautiful … It’s a lovely marriage between Western and Oriental," said Mr. Evanson's daughter-in-law about the music.
Like her father-in-law, she also enjoyed the performance. "It was beautiful, so elegant and graceful," she said.
"We very much appreciate that [Shen Yun] should bring the culture here, because otherwise we don’t have the opportunity."
Reporting by Jingwen Wang and Kat Piper.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company continues its 2011 World Tour to The Hague, April 12 and 14 and then to Switzerland on April 16. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of Shen Yun Performing Arts