ROUBAIX, France—After four sold-out performances in its first European stop in Geneva, Shen Yun Performing Arts took the stage at the Colisée in Roubaix, France’s former textile capital, for two performances from March 1 to 2.
The New York-based classical Chinese dance and music company opened the first of its two performances in the northern French city to thunderous applause.
Denis Lamy, producer and director of an intercultural association, found it hard to find words to describe the beauty of Shen Yun. “I’m stunned. … It is very difficult to find words to express what we feel,” Mr. Lamy said.
“There’s a purity that emanates from each dance, which is highlighted with moral values …. It is wonderful. The choreography is really perfect. It’s hard to imagine it could get any better.”
Shen Yun presents the essence of 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture. Through dances, music, and vocals, it weaves a wondrous tapestry of heavenly realms, ancient legends, and modern heroic tales with deep principles. These principles and morals values originate from Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism.
“We live in an increasingly individualistic world, and these values are getting lost … however this show highlights them all along. It is very powerful,” Mr. Lamy said.
Belgian conductor Bartholomeus-Henri Van de Velde came all the way from Brussels to see Shen Yun on March 2.
Mr. Van de Velde praised Shen Yun for being organized and well-arranged, and commended the synchronization of the orchestra with the dances, as well as the synchronization of the dancers with the animated digital backdrops that interact with the dances on stage.
What really stood out for him in the performance was the feeling of peace one feels after taking in a Shen Yun performance.
“I really feel the peace that takes over our hearts, our minds, with the music, with dancing, with art,” said Mr. Van de Velde, who has conducted many orchestras around the world throughout his long career.
“I think wherever Shen Yun will go, it will bring something positive.” It will also give the opportunity to “people to calm down a little bit,” he added.
Colette Vié, a music production manager and wife of Christian Vié, a famous French songwriter for several well-known French singers, was captivated by Shen Yun.
“I’m still there,” Ms. Vié said after the performance. “I’m still dreaming. It made me want to learn more about Asia. I found it beautiful, beautiful,” she exclaimed, visibly moved by the performance.
Her daughter, Emilie, was also very moved by the performance. “I still have my head in the stars and my heart in China. It was beautiful,” she said.
Established in 2006, Shen Yun has a mission to revive China’s divinely-inspired culture that has been all but destroyed under decades of communist rule.
Nicolas Zielinski, a French countertenor, said he enjoyed Shen Yun’s musical performance. Shen Yun’s orchestra is unique in that it masterfully combines traditional Chinese instruments with a Western orchestra, playing original compositions that accompany the dances.
“It’s quite inspiring to experience Eastern music. It’s refreshing. Moreover, it is also interesting to experience lyrical songs from another culture,” Mr. Zielinski said, referring to the vocal performances by Shen Yun’s award-winning vocalists who sing Chinese lyrics in the bel canto style.
Tenor Alfred Bironien said he enjoyed the combination of Western instruments with traditional Chinese instruments, and also enjoyed the colors and digital backdrops.
Lord Oliver, another ocalist and composer, said the music of the orchestra is “really beautiful.” “It’s really incredible. Quite magical,” he said about Shen Yun. “Indeed it is very touching to see a show like this.”
Reporting by David Vives, Sarita Modmesaib, and NTD Television
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit Shen Yun Performing Arts.
Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.