LONDON, U.K.—Shen Yun has brought China’s millennia-old civilization to life and is both beautiful and thought-provoking, a London-based financial lawyer said.
Shen Yun, based in New York, has been using live arts to showcase China’s traditional culture before communism. It presents story-based dances, colorful costumes, an orchestra that combines classical Western and traditional Chinese instruments, and animated backdrops creating unique effects.
James Anderson, an experienced finance lawyer based in London, who saw the show at the Eventim Apollo on March 12, said the quality of the performance was “phenomenal.”
He said the fusion between ancient Chinese forms and a classic style orchestra “brings it very much into the modern era, in a very accessible way to Western audiences.”
He said the dancing was “acrobatic, athletic, and poised,” and the music was “beautiful and uplifting.”
“It looks exactly and sounds exactly like a film, which is phenomenal. And the synchronicity with the dancers is excellent as well.”
Mr. Anderson said Shen Yun “makes it deep” and brings to life China’s ancient civilization.
“It reminds us that the Chinese culture goes back thousands and thousands of years and really does express the word ‘civilization’ properly,” he said.
“If there’s anywhere on earth which has had a civilization for a very long time, it’s China. And that is evident in tonight’s show.”
Mr. Anderson also found it interesting that Shen Yun depicts stories not only from ancient history but also from contemporary China.
In particular, Shen Yun is known for raising awareness of the Chinese regime’s persecution of Falun Dafa, a spiritual movement based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.
One of the dances, titled “Insanity During the End of Days,” recounts the events surrounding forced organ harvesting in China, which has been documented since 2006.
“I’m finding that interesting, arresting, and it provoked many thoughts in my mind,” said Mr. Anderson.
“I’m proud to be British. I’m proud to be a Londoner. And what I’m thinking is that in London, we’ve got a tradition of hosting different thoughts, different theses, different beliefs,” he said.
“We’re not living in a police state, an autocracy, where we cannot have these expressions,” he added. “And actually, I’m proud that London can do something like this.”
Reporting by NTD and Alexander Zhang.