VANCOUVER—Anne Stoll first saw an advertisement for Shen Yun Performing Arts in her native France but didn’t get a chance to go see it. After moving to Vancouver, however, she was finally able to see the word’s premier classical Chinese dance and music company perform.
“I loved the show. … We’re happy to discover the aesthetic and cultural parts,” Mrs. Stoll said after seeing Shen Yun’s opening performance with her husband, Benjamin, at Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Jan. 16.
Mr. and Mrs. Stoll both work as communication specialists. They also both took part in a very interesting and unusual endeavour: they biked 12,000 kilometres from Reims, a city in northern France, to China together in 2011 to meet with children and document their daily lives.
Mr. Stoll was the manager of the project, called Bike to School. The France to China bike trip won an award from UNESCO and was supported by oikos International, a Swiss-based student-driven organization that works for sustainable economics and management.
The couple was delighted to see China’ history and culture portrayed onstage by Shen Yun, which has made it its mission to revive the Middle Kingdom’s authentic traditional culture, believed by the ancients to have a heavenly or divine origin.
Mrs. Stoll said she enjoyed all elements of the production, but was most touched by the dance and music performances.
“I loved it all, but the dance and music touched me more and so I was more sensitive to these ones—the message in the songs and the quality of the performance was great. I really loved it all—all of them were actually impressive.”
Mr. Stoll was equally impressed.
“It was really interesting. I love this music and this art and this dance; the costumes are really beautiful,” he said.
“It was a great pleasure to see this in Vancouver. There is a lot to the Chinese culture and we are happy to discover that here in this theatre.”
“Through the universal language of music and dance,” explains the Shen Yun website, “Shen Yun weaves a wondrous tapestry of heavenly realms, ancient legends, and modern heroic tales, taking you on a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese culture. Its stunning beauty and tremendous energy leave audiences uplifted and inspired.”
Mr. Stoll said he would describe the show as an opportunity for audience members to become immersed in Chinese culture through their mind and heart.
“You definitely will feel China in your heart—really directly through your mind into your heart,” he said.
“I was really touched by this show. It was really powerful tonight. It was something dynamic and intense. If you want to feel Chinese culture in your heart, you really need to see this show.”
Mrs. Stoll said that through the performance she could see some of the values inherent in traditional Chinese culture, such as compassion, “sharing with others, learning with others, and growing together.”
“I really enjoyed it. I love art and culture and that was really a pleasure to be there. I was thrilled to learn about history and culture. I was moved by these lessons of compassion and the fact that it’s something we still need to work on today.”
Reporting by NTD Television
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reaction since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.