Germany: Audience Resonates with Shen Yun's Spirituality and Beauty
(Minghui.org) Shen Yun Performing Arts' seven-show run in Berlin and Frankfurt, Germany was brought to a close with the final performance on March 26. German audiences were mesmerized by the beauty and depth of the show. Some came from hours away to experience this visual feast, which has become a worldwide sensation.
Shen Yun received a warm welcome to Germany this year with greetings from the Federal Minister of Economics and Energy and Vice Chancellor of Germany Sigmar Gabriel, Federal Minister of Family Affairs Manuela Schwesig, and Federal Minister of Education Johanna Wanka.
Those who had the good fortune to attend this year's show also expressed great appreciation for Shen Yun's efforts to revive five thousand years of Chinese civilization and share it with the world.
“Colorful, Dynamic, and of Profound Intellectual Quality”
This is the third year that Dr. Michael Meister, Parliamentary Secretary of State to the German Federal Minister of Finance, has attended Shen Yun at the Frankfurt Jahrhunderthalle. “Every year one is surprised when one sees totally different scenes than the last time,” he said.
What astonishes him most every time he sees the show “is the deep connection to Chinese culture. It is so exciting to be able to experience something from a different cultural background. What is so unique is that the show seems to be connected to the professionalism the performers display on stage.”
Living a hectic life, Dr. Martin appreciates the effect the show has on him. “It brings some quietness and peace to my mind. It is so different from what one is exposed to in the entertainment world in Germany.” He felt that “there are things inherent in the show that is timeless and not linked to any place.”
He says he will continue telling friends and colleagues about the show and will tell them that the performance is “colorful, dynamic, and of profound intellectual quality.”
Accomplished Musicians Impressed by Shen Yun Music
The Swiatek family lives quite a distance from Berlin, but to them seeing Shen Yun was well worth the three-hour drive. Anita Swiatek is a concertmaster.
Ms. Swiatek said, “I was very impressed by the orchestra. It was different from what I’m used to and very harmonic. Furthermore, the dancers displayed excellent coordination.”
She continued, “Shen Yun is incredibly calming and comforting. What an achievement! There is so much training involved, and only those that are involved in the world of music can understand it. However, such a performance is not possible by training alone. There has to be something divine that is supporting these performers.”
Bernd Peter Fugelsang, a conductor, oboe player, as well as founder, orchestra manager and musical director of the internationally well-known Camerate Louis Spohr Orchestra in Dusseldorf, enjoyed the performance at the Frankfurt Jahrhunderthalle on Sunday, March 16.
His passion was the orchestra. He noted that they played “very well.” “The blending of the Eastern and Western instruments was one of a kind. The timbre in the blending of the exotic instruments with the classical music elicited a tone that is unparalleled,” he said.
His heart was also stirred by listening to the solo performance of the two-stringed Erhu.“The tone was intimate and deep, touching the heart of the listener.”
Shen Yun's dancers also amazed him. “All of the dancers were very powerful, but the female dancers were just beautiful. The dancers’ movements were graceful and elegant. It was joy to just watch them dance,” he said.
All-in-all, “the Shen Yun performers give to the audience from their heart, are glorious for the eyes to watch, given the colorful costumes, and radiate kindness and compassion.”
His final comment was an observation that, “these performers appear that they don’t see their activities as an occupation, but something they love.”
Mr. Mateusz Dwulecki, solo trombonist with the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, and his friend Marta Slaby, a high school music teacher in Straussberg near Berlin, attended the Monday night show on March 24 at the Stage Theater am Potsdamer Platz in Berlin.
Mr. Dwulecki said, “I enjoyed the show tremendously. But, mostly I enjoyed the orchestra that included the Chinese instruments.”
Mr. Dwulecki said after having listened to the Erhu, “The sound of the Erhu reminded me of human singing, which surprised me.”
Mrs. Slaby studied music in China for two years. She was amazed, “This performance brought to its audience such an open and authentic China, something I didn’t experience during my entire stay in China.”
Speaking of the scenes depicting persecution of Falun Gong, Ms. Slaby said, “The scenes about the persecution were so realistic. I neither saw this in China nor have heard about it in this clear format outside of China. To include in a cultural show such a theme is remarkable and excellent.”
Ms. Slaby found the songs to be familiar, “I felt as if I had sung the song “Saving All Beings.” Although I hadn’t heard the songs before, they felt so familiar.”
Mr. Dwulecki’s last words were, “I will search for information about Falun Gong. I want to learn more about it and want to understand the essence of that practice.”
High Discipline and Sincerity of Shen Yun Artists
Mr. Jurgen Ball, one of the owners and director at the General German Dance Teachers Association, attended the opening night at the Frankfurt Jahrhunderthalle. He went home happy because “there are young people who discipline themselves and believe that they are not just dancing for their own enjoyment, but for the world. They leave the audience with the feeling that their goal can be achieved. They also show the audience that this is our culture and our national treasure.”
Regarding the dancing, he said, “It was rather interesting that despite the discipline and the acrobatic movements by the individual dancers, the end-effect was still a singular entity. The choreography had greatly perfected the effect of the group on the audience.”
Mr. Ball recognized that the Shen Yun artists want to bring back China’s ancient culture, which has been suppressed under the Communist regime's rule. He said, “Shen Yun is culture and they bring back the country’s culture. It is the Chinese culture that should be recognized by the world. This is best done through dance and music. Dance is the language of the world.”
“The cultural soul must be carried forward by the descendants of any culture,” he stressed.
Martin Trippen, managing partner at the firm 3DMaximal GMBH, and stage designer, attended Shen Yun Performing Arts opening night on Saturday March 15 at the Frankfurt Jahrhunderthalle. He felt that to truly absorb what was unfolding on the stage one needs to totally relax. He said, “One just sits there and thinks, 'Wow. I have to let the show envelope me and take nothing for granted.'”
Impressed by the use of technology to revive a culture, Mr. Trippen said, “It was amazing to see high tech and yet a return to the traditional. Seeing the past, with an eye on the future was marvelous.”
He said that life is not easy, “but when watching this show suddenly everything in life comes to a halt and one can rest comfortably for the first time in one’s life. One just needs to open the eyes and let go.”
He continued, “The ease, with which the dancers float over the stage, and the discipline shown by the performers, is not easy to learn or describe. But, one will keep them in mind and achieve new energy that keeps one going in one’s life.”
Mr. Trippen says Shen Yun will change your life. He exclaimed, “Actually, after the show one feels as if reborn and this show will help the person to charter a new life.”
Significant Mission of Reviving Lost Culture
Boy Wynsch of Art Nordic, a patron of the arts, came all the way from Denmark to see the Shen Yun show in Berlin on Tuesday. Mr. Wynsch stressed the significance of Shen Yun's cultural revival. He said, “Shen Yun is very important for our country, as well as for other countries. The world can see the Chinese culture and at the same time current events in China.”
“We have seen today a show that touches the heart. There is nothing political in this show. It only tells the world about China today and the culture of China spanning 5,000 years.”
“Culture can’t be suppressed … It is not a question if Shen Yun wants to present the performance to the world, but that they have to bring it to the world. They are obligated to do so.”
“What we have seen today is an unbelievably strong message calling for freedom.”
“I think Shen Yun stands for hope. Or stated more clearly, it does not stand for hope because everything will come naturally. Shen Yun has to be shown more, and more and more people will understand its message.”
Stefan Meindl, senior executive and acting chairman of a large firm in the aviation technology industry, saw the closing performance in Berlin on March 27 with wife Doris, who is in the social education field.
Regarding the messages of the dances, Ms. Meindl believed, “The meditative elements from the dance is very inspirational. One can feel and see it in every scene.”
Speaking of the dance depicting the persecution of Falun Gong, The Steadfast Lotus , Mr. Meindl said, “The scenes that depict the persecution of Falun Gong touched me deeply. I’m aware of the happenings and can completely feel for the group. These scenes are absolutely beautiful.”
“Good for the Soul”
Erik Schmitz, medical director and medical director of the HSK, Dr. Horst Schmidt Klinik, Wiesbaden, and state chairman and board member of the BDA Professional Association of German anesthetist, saw the performance in Frankfurt with his wife Theresia Schmitz. Dr. Schmitz admired the refined skills of Shen Yun artists. He said, “There is an effortlessness in this performance which is remarkable. The rich colors are fabulous, for sure. “
Ms. Schmitz stressed the significance of the messages, “Perhaps it is more or less an integration into a different world. We should let the effortlessness and spirituality influence our everyday world.”
“I noticed that the show has a winding down effect. One looks within, quiet down and this is good for the soul,” she continued.
Harald Hantsche, a retired researcher from the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, thought the performance was fabulous. “I find it excellent that this show is returning ancient Chinese culture,” he said.
The Erhu elicited a tone “that tugs at the heartstrings and lifts one’s spirits … I could feel the musician’s mood,” he said.
He explained that the show presented him with the message “that there will soon be a new future on this earth, and I find this to be very good.”
Mainland Chinese Artist Appreciates the Reality Presented by Shen Yun
Artist Ms. Qi from Mainland China owns a pottery studio in Berlin. She thought Shen Yun was "very nice!" She was even brought to tears during the show because of the connection between the performance and reality.
She said, “I thought this show is so good that it is so close to our life. I don't think it's just a show. It incorporates all of our memories, true reality, and future into a short [performance]. I feel it's very close [to us]."
She thought, “The content of Shen Yun links to the reality of China, from the ancient to modern and from the heavens to earth.”
Regarding Shen Yun's message for the future, she said, “Actually, the word 'future' is a word we thought of after learning about the reality of today. People might not usually feel this way and just keep living in a normal way. Only when one suddenly finds out the truth and what life actually is, will one realize that there is such a thing as the future. Therefore regarding our future, I think Shen Yun presented to us a very sincere reality and turned it into a show. I think it is something very interesting.”
Shen Yun World Company will return to Germany at Festspielhaus Baden-Baden with two shows from April 30-May 1. For more information on tickets and dates, please visit Shenyunperformingarts.org.