Unilever CEO Praises Shen Yun as a ‘nice relaxing show’

April 15, 2012 Updated: October 1, 2015
Unilever CEO Paul Polman (C)
Unilever CEO Paul Polman (C) with his wife, Kim (R) and son (L). (SOH Radio Network)

LONDON—Shen Yun Performing Arts held its fourth performance to a receptive crowd at the London Coliseum on Saturday evening, April 14.

Among the audience was Unilever Plc’s Chief Executive Officer Paul Polman together with his wife Kim and one of his sons. Watching Shen Yun, according to Mr. Polman, gave them a “good flavour of a little bit of history of China”. He also mentioned the colours and the dancing as being particularly enjoyable.

Shen Yun Performing Arts is based in New York and is renowned for being the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music company. It currently has three companies touring the world, and the Shen Yun Performing Arts International Company will close its European tour with the last show in London on Sunday, April 15.

Mr. Polman was born in the Netherlands and held various executive roles at large consumer staples manufacturers such as Nestle and Procter and Gamble before being appointed chief executive officer of Unilever Plc in 2009. Unilever, headquartered in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and London, UK, is one of the world’s largest consumer staples companies in the world, with sales in excess of £50 billion, featuring brands such as Lynx and Lipton Tea. 

Mr. Polman, whose hobbies include marathon running and reading, summed up his experience with Shen Yun: “We are enjoying it, it’s a nice relaxing show.”

Shen Yun was established in 2006 with the mission to revive the 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture and has already won the highest critical acclaim and expanded its world tour to nearly 100 cities in 2012. 

Shen Yun’s performance includes classical Chinese dance, a live orchestra, a digital backdrop, and detailed handmade costumes to provide the audience with a complete and lively impression of Chinese culture. Each performance contains about 20 different pieces including ethnic and folk dances and some based on stories from the Chinese mythology. 

Mr. Polman’s wife, Kim, could relate to the music in the performance as she plays the cello. She commented that the orchestra “was playing very well” and that she noticed the traditional Chinese instruments blended with the Western orchestra. “It’s fun, there’s a variety, and I almost wish the pieces were longer,” she said. 

Overall, Mrs. Polman thought that the performance was “very beautiful, very colourful, uplifting” and was touched by the performance. 

Reporting by SOH Radio Network and Valentin Schmid.

Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world, with a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture.

For more information visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org