(Minghui.org) From April 19 to 26, 2022, the seven touring companies of Shen Yun Performing Arts presented over 30 performances in 11 cities in France, Germany, Australia, Canada, and the United States.
The Shen Yun International Company presented seven performances at the Palais Theatre in Melbourne, Australia, April 22–26. Shown above is the outside of the theater on the day of the performance on April 25. (The Epoch Times)
The Shen Yun Global Company at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, New Jersey, on April 24. The company presented five performances in Newark April 21–24, all to packed houses. (The Epoch Times)
The Shen Yun New Era Company presented two performances at the McAllen Performing Arts Center in McAllen, Texas, on April 23. The evening performance was presented to a packed audience. (The Epoch Times)
Shen Yun Welcomed by Local Elected Officials
Prior to Shen Yun’s performances in Newark, New Jersey, the performing arts company received congratulatory remarks from New Jersey elected officials: (top row, left to right) Phil Murphy, Governor of New Jersey; Donald M. Payne Jr., U.S. Representative; Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., County Executive of Essex County; (bottom row, left to right) Ras J. Baraka, Mayor of Newark; Wayne L. Richardson, Essex County Commissioner President; and Luis A. Quintana, Council President of the Newark City Council. (The Epoch Times)
Prior to Shen Yun’s performances in Detroit, Michigan, the company received a Proclamation from Mayor Mike Duggan of Detroit, which stated, “I encourage all residents to recognize the artistic accomplishments and cultural contributions of Shen Yun Performing Arts.”
Paul Fletcher, MP, the Member for Bradfield and the Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities & the Arts, alongside other Australian elected officials, issued welcoming remarks to Shen Yun prior to their performances in Melbourne. He wrote, “I am sure audiences will enjoy this energetic production steeped in traditional Chinese culture.” (Minghui.org)
Welcome letter from Tina Liu, the Mayor of the City of Whitehorse and Councillor for Sparks Ward, for Shen Yun’s performances in Melbourne. She wrote, “I trust that Melburnians from all backgrounds will once again be treated to the vibrant display of Chinese culture, history and arts, through the enthralling dancing, singing and live orchestral performances.”
Nobel Prize Laureate: “Stimulating” and “Uplifting”
Joseph H. Taylor, Jr., an astrophysicist and Nobel Prize laureate in Physics, and his wife saw Shen Yun in Newark, New Jersey, on April 23.
“The show was very stimulating. I like all the pieces. Very uplifting experience,” said Mr. Taylor, who with Russell A. Hulse was co-recipient of the 1993 Nobel Prize for Physics for their discovery of the first binary pulsar.
“We really liked looking at the orchestra pit. The performers were great,” he added.
Former Ballet Dancer: “Go Home With Very Good Memories”
Janusz and Luiza Reddig saw Shen Yun in Berlin, Germany, on April 23. The couple decided to see Shen Yun two years ago, but the tour was interrupted by the pandemic.
“That’s why we’re all the more excited to finally be able to see the show after a two-year wait,” said Janusz, a former ballet dancer, who enjoyed the performers’ “enthusiastic performance.”
“And I enjoy every minute now when I see the young people on stage and everything they conjure up – a nice atmosphere where you really go home with very good memories,” he said.
All in all, the couple thought the show was a “fantastic performance,” and wished the artists of Shen Yun every success and that they “collect only the best laurels for themselves worldwide.”
Soprano: Shen Yun’s Soprano Was “Very Crystal-like”
Soprano and actress Irena Grainge and her friend saw Shen Yun in Melbourne, Australia, on April 26.
“I am enjoying it very much... I love the precision. I love the color,” said Ms. Grainge, who performs in films, television, and opera both in Australia and internationally.
As an opera singer, Ms. Grainge said she appreciated Shen Yun’s live orchestra, as it has always been part of her life as a soprano. “And it’s fantastic,” she said, adding that she loved the intermingling of the Eastern and Western harmonies.
Also in Shen Yun’s repertoire was a virtuoso performance by a soprano who sang “Dafa Leads Back to Heaven.” The song spoke of the importance of holding on to traditions and living a life of virtue and moral values.
“[It was a] very clear soprano. By clear, I mean it’s very crystal-like... Very strong, and a beautiful soprano. She’s doing fantastic job,” Ms. Grainge said.
“[The] message was fantastic... And I’m glad we could understand what she was talking about,” she said, referring to the lyrics from the song that were projected on the backdrop for the audience to read.
“Very loving and peaceful. And we are really appreciative that sort of message being out there for us to hear,” she said.
It was an appropriate message in today’s world, Ms. Grainge added, referring to the current conflict in Ukraine.
“Being Polish, having relatives in the eastern part of Poland next to the Ukraine border, it resonated with me very strongly... And I’m really, really hoping that the message [will go] around the world and everybody will listen to it,” she said.
Ms. Grainge congratulated Shen Yun’s performers. “Fantastic coordination, fantastic discipline,” she said.
Owner of Château de Villandry: “We Feel That the Divine Is Present”
Henri Carvallo, the owner of castle Château de Villandry, and his family saw Shen Yun in Tours, France, on April 22.
“I found it very beautiful... Lots of colors, harmony, rhythm. Then there is a spiritual dimension which is quite present and which is also interesting... It allows you to discover the history of these ancient traditions,” Mr. Carvallo said.
Since 1906, the Carvallo family has endeavored to restore the castle Château de Villandry to its Renaissance style beauty and charm. Henri Carvallo is the great-grandson of Joachim Carvallo, a doctor and researcher of Spanish origin.
“A lot of harmony, very beautiful movements and emotions through the stories too… A little bit of humor, with the Monkey King. I quite like it, yes!” he said.
The fact that the spirituality present at the heart of Shen Yun is not only in the dance scenes, but also in the daily life of the artists, also touched Mr. Carvallo. “We feel that the divine is present... I also read that the troupe led a life all the same, in respecting the principles... which are highlighted, and I found that just as nice. It’s not just a game, but it’s also something a little deeper, obviously,” Mr. Carvallo said.
He also spoke about the values conveyed in the stories told by Shen Yun: “We talk about compassion, fraternity... and respect for others all the same!”
For Mr. Carvallo, Shen Yun “brings a message of peace and harmony.”
“A Lot of Time and Effort”
Aejaz Hussain, the Director of T-Mobile’s Customer Care in the Greater McAllen area, saw Shen Yun in McAllen, Texas, on April 23.
“I think the orchestra is wonderful. The music is great. I think the performers, their timing, their dancing together in sync, takes a lot of practice and a lot of time and effort,” Mr. Hussain said.
“The part that resonated with me was the lyrics of the song that the gentleman sang, about the divine connection. I think that’s what struck a chord, that at the end of the day, regardless of what country you’re from, your culture and your background, at the end of the day we’re somehow connected.
“It connects all to the Creator. Because I think there’s a connection back to, I think it started off with coming from heaven, coming to earth, and it’s kind of like the origin of humanity on planet earth. And I think there is a uniqueness, and again a connection to different cultures and religions across the world that believe that there’s a Creator and we were all brought down to this earth for a certain purpose,” he said.
Karla Loberg-Walter, the principal of the Edmonton Christian Northeast School, saw Shen Yun in Edmonton, Canada, on April 24.
“It was absolutely magnificent. The choreography was beautiful. The costumes were exquisite. The colors are beautiful. The dancing of course is impeccable. The musicians that joined were fantastic. It was so nice to hear the orchestra. Again, it’s been so long to hear live music. So I was just so grateful to learn about culture in a way that helps us to understand just the beauty of a country that many of us may not get to visit,” Ms. Loberg-Walter said.
“I’ve never seen anything like it. It was just, the timing was incredible for them to be able to incorporate the backdrop in with the live actors and actresses. And the dancers were just, to be able to respond that quickly. It was amazing. I just thought it was absolutely exquisite,” she said.
Ms. Loberg-Walter shared her thoughts on the performance of the erhu virtuoso. “I worked at a school that had a fiddle group, so all of our kids were learning to play fiddle. And to be able to play that music, that was so emotionally moving, on two strings. I can’t imagine how long that would take to learn the instrument. And it’s so unique. I’ve never seen it live,” she said.
“I would love for any of our kids or all of our kids to be able to attend something like this. Because I think it’s so easy to miss the opportunity to build community with people from all different cultures and all different walks of life. And to be able to see that really two of the common themes that were brought in were: compassion and faith. And I think that just really rings true for all of us, with everything that we’ve been through, and everything that we live with, and are exposed to in the world.
“If we can hold true to those two things, compassion and faith, I think that we can really see the beauty and the celebration of diversity all around us. And I think the arts bring that to us. So I would recommend this for all of our families and all of our children, and people of all different ethnic backgrounds. I think that everyone would enjoy it greatly,” she said.
Ms. Loberg-Walter lauded Shen Yun’s mission of reviving China’s lost traditions as well as efforts in voicing for the freedom of people.
“I think they need to be empowered to do that. I think that we all need to celebrate what we have with our freedoms and continue to work for those freedoms around the world. The freedom to express religion and faith and culture and the ways that are so meaningful and bring us back to the history of all different places in the world. I just really applaud your efforts.
“Thank you for all of your hard work. You’ve just done an amazing job. I haven’t seen anything like this. And I just hope you continue to share this great message,” Ms. Loberg-Walter concluded.
“The Message Today Was Absolutely Beautiful”
Ron Schuler, a member of the legislative assembly of Manitoba, saw Shen Yun in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, on April 19.
“It was just amazing, really well-done... I want to thank... the orchestra and all the performers for putting on a fantastic show,” Mr. Schuler said.
He attended a Shen Yun performance in 2010 and was impressed by the company’s patented method using a 3D animated backdrop that allows seamless interaction between the background projection and the performers on stage.
“It’s as beautiful today as it was then. I’m always awed by the beauty of it,” he said.
“I like how [they] incorporated a lot of new ways of doing things—the jumping off the stage and then flying into the sky, or putting out the fire... [Shen Yun] has incorporated a lot of new elements, but the message is always still the same, and I really appreciate that message: It is about freedoms.
“I’m a big supporter of what [Shen Yun] stands for... Civil liberties—no matter at what point in time in your civilization—are fundamental. This concert today is all about civil liberties, and having rights, and standing up for what you believe in.
“I think [Shen Yun] conveys the message very beautifully... [They] really do it in a very loving way. Even some of the scenes that are a little bit tougher, [they] still do it in a very tasteful way... But the message is clear: that is, religious freedom, civil liberties, which I stand for 100 percent,” Mr. Schuler said.
One dance piece depicts the crime of forced organ harvesting from Falun Dafa prisoners of conscience in China, which is part of the CCP’s (Chinese Communist Party) persecution campaign against the spiritual practice. Reflecting on the human rights atrocities that are being exposed through the beauty of the performance, Mr. Schuler said that these crimes must be denounced.
“The Chinese government has a lot to answer for with the organ harvesting that’s taking place. I think it’s just a shameful crime against humanity that’s taking place. I think all of us in the West should be disgusted by that and should denounce that kind of behavior,” he said.
“I really stand for civil liberties, and that’s why I appreciate so much what [Shen Yun is] doing here. It is about religious freedoms... spirituality, and civil liberties,” Mr. Schuler said.
He also spoke about the spirituality presented in the performance. “Coming from a very spiritual background... I appreciate the spirituality... I like how [Shen Yun] puts it on the forefront and [their] message is very clear, very beautiful. It’s a very good message that we need spirituality in our lives,” he said.
With regard to pandemic lockdowns and restraints over the past two years, Mr. Schuler noted how important it is for people’s mental well-being to be able to gather and attend performances like Shen Yun.
“People are very happy to be out, and it’s important. We need each other as human beings. We need to see those performances and... we need spirituality,” he said.
“We have so many mental health problems in our cities, in our communities, and it’s with spirituality that we can help to get out of those problems. Your government can’t help you with mental health issues—the best way to deal with that is through spiritual means. And the message today was absolutely beautiful.
“I’m a people-watcher... The audience was enthralled, they were excited, and they were clapping throughout. I think people really appreciated it.
“There was a gentleman sitting next to me. He’s never been to one of these before. I said to him, ‘Wait till you see this show.’ Afterward, he said, ‘You were so right. It is so beautiful.’ And yes, it is very uplifting,” Mr. Schuler said.
Shen Yun continues its 2022 tour with upcoming performances in Berlin, Germany, April 29–May 1; Graz, Austria, April 29–30; Bendigo, Australia, April 30–May 1; Palm Desert, California, April 29–30; Rosemont, Illinois, April 29–May 1; and Mobile, Alabama, April 30.
For more information on tickets and dates, please visit https://shenyun.com.
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