AIX-EN-PROVENCE, France—Thunderous applause filled the theater as the curtains dropped, and the Shen Yun Performing Arts artists were called back by the spectators’ warm appreciation on March 9.
“I think it’s wonderful, it’s joyful, it gives an idea of ancient China and this is absolutely fabulous! There is a feeling of plenitude, calm, everything looked beautiful, good, and people seemed happy,” said Hubert Allouche, a school teacher in Marseille, who got “the impression of going back in time [and] history”.
New York-based Shen Yun is an independent, non-profit company that aims to revive the traditional Chinese culture. This culture is often little known to Westerners. So, through performing arts, Shen Yun creates a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese culture. It is stunning in beauty and of tremendous energy, said the inspired audience members at the Grand Theatre de Provence.
“This is part of an ancient Chinese heritage, it is their roots, and I think it’s very, very important to protect this art; these things so ancient and so beautiful,” said Nadine Léon a receptionist.
Olivier Gaubens, Grand Master of the Knights of the Olive Tree and vice president of Bouches-du-Rhône’s National Order of Merit, enjoyed the performance’s magic.
“I admit I was mesmerized by this show and its exquisiteness, which to me is the symbol of this beautiful country of China. And that is magical,” he said.
He said, “Shen Yun has managed to create osmosis between the actors and the images that blend into each other. As they say in old French, “esbaudi”—it’s beautiful.”
In addition to the beauty and drama of ancient China, some dances in Shen Yun portray today’s China. They highlight the severe repression of the spiritual practice of Falun Dafa. This type of meditation, which has greatly improved the health of many Chinese, was eventually banned and persecuted by the Chinese authorities.
“It’s hard to believe this practice, which only brings serenity, joy, happiness and peace, is banned in China,” said a surprised Mrs. Léon, whose “heart goes to Shen Yun.” She hopes that the company will play someday in mainland China, “because it’s still their culture and it is important for them to know it.”
“The color red contributed to much suffering in China,” said Olivier Gaubens, referring to the red of the Chinese Communist Party, while congratulating Shen Yun.
Chinese culture had always been linked to the divine, and was very much influenced by Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. Ideas related to some of these philosophies were present in the lyrics sang by bel canto soloists, with themes like the search for spirituality.
The songs are in Chinese, with translated lyrics projected on the backdrop, but the themes are universal and were appreciated by the audience. Françoise Naud, astrologer, writer and business consultant, said: “It’s also touching because there is purity, beauty, and sometimes harshness.”
For the astrologer, the lyrics were sometimes reminiscent of distant realities. But the artists “bring out the beauty and strength, the will to move forward, to evolve while retaining the best and struggling against the worst. That will not be easy, but our hearts go out to them!”
It seemed to be a shared feeling, as the tenor was acclaimed with “vivas!” from the public and came back for an encore.
Many messages go unnoticed, but for Robert Calderoni, former shipowner attending this evening, you have to listen. “Just listen … what people today no longer do. Yet there are many messages that deserve to be heard. And this one should be heard very widely.”
Reporting by NTD Television, Guan Ning, and Daniel Trévise
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.