LONDON, U.K.—This Chinese New Year, the revival of traditional Chinese culture became an inspiration to others who feel that the preservation of heritage the world over is a pressing concern. Shen Yun Performing Arts is spearheading the return of China’s ancient culture, and one French ex-pat living in London said “this effort for me is absolutely crucial for everybody, not only for Chinese people.”
Jean-Pierre Durandeau is Head of Product for software company Framework and is originally from Liles, France. He attended Now York-based Shen Yun at London’s Eventim Apollo on Jan. 25, 2020.
“I think it’s fantastic because the variety of techniques of the dancers are absolutely stunning,” Durandeau said. “I really enjoy the show … But I have to say the integration of the background with the images and things like that, I think makes it a very stunning performance and it’s very, very colorful and delightful and the fact that [they] also manage to mix funny parts with some more serious parts more spiritual parts altogether makes it a very, very broad embracing performance—I really love it.”
The revival of Chinese culture, for Shen Yun, is inextricably tied to Chinese spiritual beliefs since authentic Chinese culture did not separate sacred from secular life. Beliefs and practices such as Buddhism, Daoism, and Confucianism permeated everyday life throughout ancient China, and appear throughout a Shen Yun performance today.
Durandeau took a lot away from these themes, he said.
“Basically when you reference to divinity and all these kinds of things, this is the part I call ‘spiritual’ because let’s say it really speaks to the religious part of our mind, yes,” he said, acknowledging that the pursuit of the sacred may be rooted in everyone.
“There is something which I’ve always said is that wherever there is divinity the message is roughly the same because it’s basically bringing people together and sharing together values,” he said.
“So from that point of view, this speaks to me as it should speak to anybody who has any kind of reasonable religious feeling inside, irrespectively of whether it’s Christian, or … From that point of view, that’s clear for me, that’s [a] universal message,” Durandeau said, referring to Shen Yun’s inclusion of scenes with the Creator and other heavenly beings.
Durandeau went on to share his thoughts about Shen Yun’s mission to restore traditional Chinese culture for the good of the world.
“I think, let’s say, when you have a country with such a long history, with such a rich philosophy and history of ideas and creations, I think it’s very valuable not to lose this culture, or to lose these traditions, but on the contrary, to be sure that it is kept alive and it is being transmitted from one generation to the next.
“I think one of the things that we are losing here in Europe is basically our traditions, our own culture; we do not transmit that to the others. It’s the same kind of problem so, from that point of view, this effort for me is absolutely crucial for everybody, not only for Chinese people or for people from Chinese descent, but also for the world itself because we cannot afford to lose traditions, culture, philosophy, ideas which have made a huge nation, a great nation.”
To Shen Yun’s dancers and artists, Durandeau wished them “Happy New Year. All the best. I think it’s the year of the rat. I’m a tiger by the way!”
With reporting by Mary Mann and Brett Featherstone.
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time and has covered audience reactions since the company’s inception in 2006.