Sotheby’s Art Specialist Enjoys Shen Yun’s ‘Beautiful’ Show

April 10, 2011 Updated: April 11, 2011

LONDON—Sotheby’s Art Specialist, Claire Grindey, thought Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company's portal into China's 5,000-year-old cultural heritage, was just the ticket.

“Beautiful," Ms. Grindey said. "I loved the blossom dance, Plum Blossom, in the second half and I was also amazed and delighted by the background … sort of magical, technical, flying through the air. I thought it was fantastic. I loved it," she added.

Ms. Grindey was taking in the New York-based company's performance, acclaimed as foremost in the world of classical Chinese dance and music, at The London Coliseum on April 6.

She had completed a beginner’s Mandarin course and came here hoping that she would understand some of the language.

“I could pick out about three words but I love the language, I recognize the language. It was really interesting the whole take on … that [Shen Yun] wouldn’t be allowed to be shown in China. I thought [that] was really interesting,” Ms. Grindey said.

Included in the dance program is the portrayal of the persecution of the ancient spiritual discipline of Falun Gong, a dark contrast in a show that hinges mostly on reviving the divinely-bestowed true culture—desecrated under communist rule.

Ms. Grindey realized the show’s intent is to bring classical Chinese culture to the world, and appreciated Chinese performing arts, understanding that modern dance stemmed from classical Chinese dance.

“I really enjoyed that. I really enjoyed learning about the whole dance processes this evening, so I’ll definitely come back again and see the next show,” she said.

Shen Yun’s colourful, exuberant performance is mostly based on a collection of Chinese stories told in dance or song to portray ancient China through to the present day.

Ms. Grindey was glad of the stories explained by the two emcees before each program began.

“I’m not sure I quite followed everything that was going on, because I think I was more stunned by the visuals, than the dance,” she said. “But I do think it’s great there’s a message coming through dance and through the preforming arts … about modern-day China.”

Reporting by Chin Liang and Raiatea Tahana-Reese.

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company will next perform in The Hague, Netherlands, at the Lucent Danstheater, on April 12 and 14. For more information, visit

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