Linkoping, Sweden to Shen Yun Performing Arts: We Thank You For Returning! (Photos)
(Clearwisdom.net) The curtain rose to enthusiastic applause as Shen Yun Performing Arts 2009 World Tour opened for the second year at the Konsert & Kongress in Linkoping, Sweden. The appreciative audience welcomed the highly acclaimed Shen Yun with resounding applause and standing ovations.
County Governor Faced Down Attempted Interference
At the VIP reception, Mr. Eriksson, the County Governor of Linkoping and former National Director of the Swedish police, welcomed the return of the show to this gracious old city.
Mr. Eriksson, County governor of Linkoping and former national director of the Swedish police
Mr. Eriksson has traveled to China many times and is interested in Chinese culture. "It is fascinating when you get a glimpse of Chinese culture, and when you see the show, you have a lot of reflections. Personally, I'm fascinated with the overall effect that is achieved with the wonderful costumes, the great direction, and beautiful music," Mr. Eriksson said in his speech.
He added, "They're three hundred people who make this happen, which is extraordinary. I'm very, very happy that they have selected Linkoping and I thank those who have given us the opportunity to see the show!"
Mr. Eriksson recounted an incident last year when Shen Yun visited Linkoping for the first time, and the Chinese Embassy tried to interfere. "They made various attempts to stop this tour -- for reasons that are in conflict with our values when it comes to culture and the arts, so there was every reason to put our foot down."
"I said very clearly that I thought their actions were downright silly. But I think it was the amount of reaction [from the locals] here that really made the difference." He added that, to his knowledge, no similar incidents have occurred this year in Linkoping.
"It's down to the fact that it has been clearly shown that you can't make art go away. You just can't give orders like that. Art and culture find their own way, and if you try to stop them, people will react. People in general from this region reacted quite strongly last time around."
Mr. Eriksson was very pleased with the show. "We're used to European culture, so when you see a different culture displayed in such a professional manner, it's impressive."
He especially shared his impression about the performance, "Heaven Awaits Us Despite Persecution," that depicts the persecution of Falun Dafa in China, a traditional spiritual discipline. "It was heartwarming. That reference to the lack of democratic rights, in particular, was conveyed in a very dignified way," said Mr Eriksson.
Moved to Tears
Author Mr. Braune lives in the southern city of Malmo and drove the 341 miles all the way to Linkoping in order to watch Shen Yun. He had been invited by a friend to see the show in order to, "see something beautiful and get some inspiration."
Novelist Anders Braune
Mr. Braune was deeply moved by "Heaven Awaits Us Despite Persecution," "I'm very moved, it was unbelievably beautiful!" He said that he was moved almost to the point of tears while watching this particular performance. "As an author, I exist in the realm of the imagination, and it is good to see that there are people who keep fighting for their right to art and imagination, despite oppression."
"Faced with this, it's really great that there are people who promote [traditional] Chinese culture like this. It's an incredibly vast and deep source, since it's almost 5,000 years of high culture and, we are getting the essence of all that here today. It gives you inspiration, both to live and to create," he concluded.
Beautiful and Touching!
"So very beautiful, so very touching! I feel enriched by the experience," exclaimed Ms. Johansson, a Swedish peace advocate. She said, "I love the show. To me it was aesthetic. It brought me a sense of calm and peace."
Ms. Johansson, a Swedish peace advocate and a teacher
As a teacher, and because of her professional involvement with promoting nonviolence in the classroom, Ms. Johansson immediately connected with the performances about the persecution of Falun Dafa. "I really appreciated the message. As a peace activist for many years, I have been working on practicing being at peace and being truthful. I am very happy to find a performance that conveys these messages, so it has a strong meaning for me. We are fellow human beings on the planet and we need to be compassionate with each other, supportive of each other, and listen to each other."
Ms. Johansson noticed the positive effect the show had on the audience, "This performance and this group is about promoting those values in everyday life. I very much appreciate this format, of bringing the music, the dance, and the message together, to give [the audience] this experience, I watched people's faces here, and people are glowing, so the message is coming through."
She expressed amazement at the skill of the dancers, "The talent is incredible. You know that it takes years of practice to become that graceful and that flexible."
"The music was lovely. I had thought it would be more traditional Chinese music. But you have a mix of Eastern and Western music, it was very nice, and you brought in Tibetan and Mongolian. Not only bringing in the Chinese perspective, but also an honoring of other cultures in China. So very beautiful, so very touching! I feel enriched by the experience."
Category: Shen Yun Performing Arts