LUDWIGSBURG, Germany—Mr. Stephan Wegmann, project manager for the Baden-Württembergischen Bank, saw Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company perform at the Forum am Schlosspark on April 21.
Mr. Wegmann said his hobbies over the past few months included studying Chinese history and classical dance. A friend had recommended he see Shen Yun, and he was delighted at the opportunity to see Chinese history presented live on stage through dance and music, and learn more about China's traditional culture.
He said he especially liked the serenity, the dancers, and the softness of the Chinese melodies that emanated from the Shen Yun Orchestra, which combines both Western and Eastern instruments in a beautiful fusion.
"I clearly distinguished the Chinese softer melodies; it does not sound like a conventional Western orchestra. The music appealed to the senses and brought a delightful ambiance to the whole; and the soprano is forever in my memory—she stood out," he said.
The Shen Yun performance elicited special feelings in his heart: "China is a land with a 5,000-year-old history; some of the scenes let one feel this. Each presentation in the many scenes seemed to pass like a flash, told its own story and enriched the viewers."
He said he particularly enjoyed the dance Min Nan Grace, in which, according to the program, at once both playful and shy, girls frolic nimbly on the sparkling shores of the South China Sea, where, with bamboo hats that are widely used in the region, they gather to enjoy the sunshine.
"Among the dances, I liked the serene dance of the women at the beach," Mr. Webmann said.
Integral to the Shen Yun performance are the animated, digital images on the backdrops that transport the audience to another world. "Of course, the backdrops and animation were fascinating and beautiful. That adds to the whole presentation," he said.
Mr. Wegmann appreciated the modern-day scenes where courage and bravery were displayed.
"The scene where the woman teacher is persecuted for her faith, and her actions, is a current concern and highlights the plight of people in present-day China. I am glad this was addressed."
Mr. Wegmann was referring to the dance Our Story, where a beloved teacher is taken away by state police for writing on a chalkboard the Chinese characters 'truth,' 'compassion,' and 'forbearance,' which are the central principles of Falun Dafa, a traditional practice. However, in contemporary China, those who practice it are persecuted by the current regime.
"That message elevated the presentation to a higher level than a merely entertaining show. This provides clarity of what is actually happening," he said.
Reporting by Nina Hamrle and Christina Riveland.
Shen Yun Performing Arts will perform next in Stockholm, Sweden, and Vienna, Austria. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org