STOCKHOLM, Sweden—Minister of Justice, Beatrice Ask, came to see Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company at Cirkus theatre on April 27, the company's final performance in Stockholm.
"It was a fantastic, a very beautiful performance," she said after the show. "I was very impressed by the dancers and the characters. I haven't seen classical Chinese dance before so it was very interesting. Much more so than I had expected."
The New York-based Shen Yun company's mission is to revive China's 5,000-year-old traditional culture and display its rich and diverse ancient cultural treasures, portrayed through classical Chinese dance and music.
Ms. Ask was moved by the characters and the story-based dance, and the fact that so much can be expressed through dance.
"There were some amusing stories which gave thought-provoking ideas and some thoughts to ponder upon," the Minister of Justice said.
"Also the costumes, movements and music were very beautiful, not forgetting the fantastic orchestra," she added.
The Shen Yun Touring Company Orchestra is unique in that it brings traditional Chinese and Western instruments together to create a unique sound.
Ms. Ask experienced the different facets of the show. She said, "Most of all, you feel very happy to see the bright side of the show, and it has a very serious side, too, but it still expresses a lot of light and hope. This is important, because if you don't believe in change and that things can improve, then you will have a pretty sad life."
Ms. Ask heard that Shen Yun is not able to perform in China, due to the continued suppression of traditional arts and freedom of expression, under the authoritarian regime. She said she finds it sad when people face such challenges.
"I think it's very good that they can tell the story the way they did in the show tonight," she said.
After seeing the performance, she felt that there is so much more to learn about China, its long history and its many different ethnic cultures and art forms.
"You should take the opportunity to watch and learn from other cultures. That was the feeling I got from this. China has an incredibly rich history and culture. We still know very little about China in Sweden and we need to learn more about it," she said.
Ms. Beatrice Ask hopes that more people will take the opportunity to see Shen Yun next time the show comes to Stockholm.
Reporting by NTD Television, Linda Wu and Marja-Leena Koivuluoto.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company will perform in Vienna, Austria, at the Wiener Stadthalle, May 1-4. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org