THE HAGUE, The Netherlands—Despite the fact that he was “well informed” about the show beforehand and had high expectations, Lorens Keip found that the Shen Yun Performing Arts performance in The Hague’s Lucent Danstheater on March 13 “fully lived up to them” and even managed to surprise him with its “wonderful symbolism.”
Lorens Kneip is the director of ENOT, a company that manufactures lenses and frames for glasses. He was introduced to Shen Yun through a presentation at his local Rotary club.
Shen Yun Performing Arts is based in New York and is acclaimed as the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music company. It currently has three companies touring the world and the Shen Yun International Company will visit seven cities in Europe during the next few months.
Shen Yun was established in 2006 with the mission to revive the 5,000 years of authentic Chinese culture. The show has already won the highest critical acclaim and expanded its world tour to almost 100 cities in 2012. The performance includes dance, a live orchestra, a digital backdrop and gorgeous, colorful costumes to provide the audience with a complete impression of traditional Chinese culture.
An overall “fantastic performance,” Mr. Kneip said. He was especially fascinated by the evolution of the different elements when it came to the perception of the show. “At first you are mesmerized by the refined performance of dance, you can’t see these little feet moving but the dancers are. Later the symbolic meaning starts to dawn on you and you start to understand the combination of the modern message and ancient ways that we witnessed here. Really splendid.”
Shen Yun combines about 20 different pieces, giving the audience a unique insight into ancient and present-day China.
“Whether set in the past or in contemporary China, every dance embodies traditional Chinese values. Ideals of loyalty, filial piety, and veneration for the divine are cherished and celebrated,” states Shen Yun’s website.
For Mr. Kneip, a scene depicting Falun Gong practitioners in modern China was “very nicely done. These young people in the park who tried to convey their message about freedom [which wasn’t possible.]”
It was probably another aspect of Chinese dance called “bearing” that made Mr. Kneip think “that every movement is enhanced much more than the eye meets”. Classical Chinese dance incorporates this element that goes beyond technique or form and combines breath, intent, personal aura and deep emotional expression.
“I can imagine that the performers have much more in their mind, enabling [them] to execute it so easily. I believe it looks a lot easier than it actually is,” he said.
Reporting by Valentin Schmid and Jasper Fakkert.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun Performing Arts International Company will next perform in Berlin from March 16-18.
For more information, please visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.