Shen Yun: ‘Everyone that can see should come’

April 11, 2011 Updated: April 11, 2011

LONDON—Lord Cobbold, excepted hereditary peer, came to the Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company's classical Chinese dance and music performance, which debuted at The London Coliseum on April 5.

Lord Cobbold was so impressed after the show that he sent a congratulatory note to the New York-based company's performers.

"What a wonderful evening. The show was spectacular," Lord Cobbold stated. "Congratulations to all performers and to the choreographers and costume designers. The stage settings were also very high quality."

This was the second time Lord Cobbold has seen Shen Yun. The first was at the New London Theatre in 2009.

'The erhu … It's very haunting and touching'

Also attending the show, which brings to life China's divinely-bestowed cultural heritage, was author Howard Sun, who is of Chinese descent.

"I have a very special interest because I've been studying Chinese culture for a while," Mr. Sun said. "I wasn't brought up with it, although I am overseas Chinese. For me, it was nice to see that that has been preserved, the culture."

Mr. Sun learned from the show that gymnastics has its roots in classical Chinese dance.

"I didn't know the different tumbles and different things that the people in the West take for granted, actually originated in China, but I'm not surprised," he said, discovering that many things taken as part of Western culture originated from the five-millennia-old China.

But one of Shen Yun's unique trademarks is the Shen Yun Touring Company Orchestra which harmoniously blends Eastern and Western instruments in all-original compositions.

Mr. Sun was impressed by the erhu virtuoso who evoked otherworldly tones from her ancient two-stringed bow instrument.

"The erhu … I echo what Princess Michael said. It's very haunting and touching," he said. "The whole performance was like that. It’s a different type of energy."

Mr. Sun was referring to an address given by Princess Michael at a VIP reception.

'Everyone that can see should come'

Another audience member who gave his name only as Sean, a sound engineer, thought Shen Yun "was the most outstanding visual performance in elegance, in style, timing and choreography that I've ever seen."

He said the dance performance that "moved us in the most sudden way was the killing of the teacher, Our Teacher. It brought us close to tears."

Sean was also touched by the dance Plum Blossom. "The colour, the technique, the timing, just absolutely outstanding. I must say, for everybody that is able to see, they should come. Everyone that can see should come."

Integral to Shen Yun are a collection of Chinese stories, old and new, put to dance or lyrics sung by solo vocalists to reawaken China's 5,000-year-old traditions, mostly destroyed under communist rule.

Reporting by Louis Makiello and Raiatea Tahana-Reese.

Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company will perform at The London Coliseum until April 10 and then in The Hague, Netherlands, at the Lucent Danstheater, on April 12 and 14. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org