Shen Yun Shows Us the Soul of China, Says Artist

March 6, 2016 9:38 pm Last Updated: March 7, 2016 5:25 am

GOLD COAST, Australia—The final performance of Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Arts Theatre, The Arts Centre Gold Coast, on March 5 was a magical experience for artist Claire Larrivee.

They are showing us the soul of China.
— Claire Larrivee

“I feel it is grandiose. I feel deeply touched by what the dancer has performed and the message that they carry,” she said. “They are portraying the soul of China, they are showing us the soul of China.”

French-Canadian born artist, Ms. Larrivee, now resides in Australia but has travelled widely and sees herself as an international citizen of the universe. Since graduating from The Australian National University Institute of Art Ms. Larrivee concentrated on ceramics and painting; because of the environmental impact however, she is now mainly using organic fibres to create her sculptures.

Based in New York, Shen Yun’s mission is to revive the divinely inspired traditional Chinese culture that flourished for millennia before the communist regime has systematically tried to destroy it. Through the universal language of breathtaking music and dance, Shen Yun is bringing back this glorious culture.

Ms. Larrivee was saddened to hear about the religious persecution in China today. She said meditation is as essential to life as breathing and cannot and should not be repressed. She saw the divine in Shen Yun and said it was essential for life.

“The need for divinity that they always had and the need to express it … I find the dancers are doing fantastic work, the professionalism is absolutely beautiful,” she said.

“The way the dancer expresses the divine by seeming to float above the floor … so often, they glide.”

Claire Larrivee and Peter Walker were touched at Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Arts Theatre, on the Gold Coast, on March 5, 2016. (Epoch Times)
Claire Larrivee and Peter Walker were touched by Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Arts Theatre, on the Gold Coast, on March 5, 2016. (Epoch Times)

As an artist, Ms. Larrivee saw the whole performance as a complete picture, a series of visual images sending a divine message for humanity. She appreciated the dancers using their costumes or props as an extension to their performance with subtle and profound inner meanings.

“That is very divine, the way they use their long sleeves to write calligraphy in space [the air]. For me it’s like calligraphy when they use the sleeve, it goes in all direction. I thought, they are writing, they are writing the divine message to humanity,” she said.

“The silk is beautiful, they move so graciously with the silk. The colour is superb.”

She explained that by watching the Shen Yun dancers perform, she could see the influence of traditional Chinese culture has had on the whole world. She could see the origins of so many dances from many countries and from gymnastics to ballet to opera coming from classical Chinese dance and culture. She felt ancient China has left its heart on everyone, the origin of culture worldwide.

“It touched me, and the influence I see,” she said.

Classical Chinese dance is at the heart of what Shen Yun does. Known for its incredible flips and spins, and its gentle elegance, it is one of the most rigorous and expressive art forms in the world,” according to the website.

“Classical Chinese dance is a culture left to us by the ancients who came before us, its beauty should be riches shared by all of humanity, its purity should not be contaminated.”

Shen Yun also has vocal and instrumental performances. Ms. Larrivee was touched by the sopranos.

The website states, “the singers of Shen Yun is their use of bel canto technique to sing Chinese text. This means that the singer must, while continuing to meet the challenges inherent in bel canto technique, retain proper Chinese pronunciation and diction. Today, these singers’ ability to do this is unparalleled.”

“The soprano is very expressive, they share very much what they feel and what they sing, it comes from the heart, they are sharing their soul,” she said.

“Their singing is like a prayer, it’s like they are praying to be recognised and accepted. This is what I see.”

Reporting by NTD Television and Leigh Smith

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.