(Minghui.org) After the New Year, Shen Yun Performing Arts continued its 2023 world tour with performances in the United States, Germany, and Japan. One touring company arrived in London to kick off the company’s United Kingdom tour. 

After completing performances in San Jose, the Shen Yun New Era Company began performing in San Francisco on the afternoon of January 4 at the War Memorial Opera House. (Minghui.org) 

Shen Yun North America Company at the Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Gainesville, Florida, on the evening of January 4 (NTD Television)

Shen Yun International Company at the Jones Hall for the Performing Arts in Houston, Texas, on the afternoon of January 2 (The Epoch Times)

Shen Yun Global Company presented its fifth performance in Berlin, Germany, at the Theater am Potsdamer Platz on January 1. (Theater website) 

Shen Yun New World Company, the eighth and newest touring company of Shen Yun, debuted at The Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin, Texas, on January 6. (Theater website) 

“Fantastic” and “Excellent”

Frank Iler, North Carolina State Representative, at the Shen Yun performance in North Charleston, South Carolina, on January 2 (NTD Television)

Frank Iler, North Carolina State Representative for Brunswick County, saw Shen Yun in North Charleston, South Carolina, on January 2.

“It’s fantastic... It’s very different from what we’re used to. We have concerts of different kinds, but we have nothing as exciting as this,” Mr. Iler said. 

“I’m very anti-communist. It didn’t take long for me to understand that. As a child, I always wanted to go to China. Today, I would not go. I never got to go, but I would not try to go today because of the politics in China.

“I think the classical performances, the classical traditions there are fantastic.

“It did point to God, and we all have different ideas of what God is. But it’s very good. It’s excellent, the way it brought out the divine creation and the traditions,” he said.

“This Is the Story We Need to Know”

Tom James, Director of Networking & Executive Engagement at Ocala/Marion County Chamber & Economic Partnership, and award-winning TV Play-by-Play & Studio Host, at the Shen Yun performance in Gainesville, Florida, on January 3 (The Epoch Times)

Tom James, Director of Networking & Executive Engagement at Ocala/Marion County Chamber & Economic Partnership, and an award-winning TV Play-by-Play & Studio Host, saw Shen Yun in Gainesville, Florida, on January 3. He saw the performance with his mother. 

“I saw Shen Yun last year and liked it very much… This was my Christmas gift for [my mother]. I like Shen Yun so much!” Mr. James said.

“Shen Yun is very outstanding. It is eye-opening and showed people everything about China. This is the story we need to know,” he said.

The soprano’s bel canto performance left Mr. James with the deepest impression. “She sang great! The voice was beautiful and pleasant. She’s an outstanding singer. She’s so excellent,” he exclaimed. 

He also said that Shen Yun’s lyrics were memorable. “To be able to read the lyrics on the backdrop, it was great!... Shen Yun singers use lyrics and singing that is expressive and full of emotion to deliver spiritual messages. It was really brilliant,” said James. 

“It Touched My Heart”

Juanita Roy, former ballerina, at the Shen Yun performance in San Jose, California, on New Year's Day (NTD Television)

Former ballerina Juanita Roy and her husband Jose, a life scientist, saw Shen Yun in San Jose on New Year's Day.

As a former ballerina, Ms. Roy was very excited to see Shen Yun unfold on the stage she had danced on in her career. “I wish it was me [on stage]... It’s so beautiful. I feel the spirit behind the performance and it touched my heart,” she said.

“This is my second time seeing Shen Yun. I came to see the exquisite classical training. It’s so present in everything they do. It’s beautiful and exquisite. [They are] my heroes,” Ms. Roy said. 

“The artistry, the skill, and the execution are flawless. The choreography is beautiful, and the stories are inspirational... It really touches the heart and soul of every human being on the planet,” said Ms. Roy.

“[It doesn’t matter] what your religion or what your faith is. [Shen Yun] speaks of freedom and liberty, and truth and beauty,” she said.

Ms. Roy said a billboard she saw while driving on the highway drew her to see Shen Yun. “[The billboard] said China before communism. I wanted to see this marvelous, beautiful culture of some of the world’s greatest art pieces that were utterly destroyed by the communists.”

After the matinee, the couple was touched by the dedication of Shen Yun performers. “I feel that [these artists] have a tremendous amount of courage to do what they are doing. Their families are at risk. They themselves are at risk,” said Ms. Roy.

She noted that it is crucial for people to remember their cultural traditions because, “if we forget who we are, then we have no future. If we forget all the things that are sacred to us, what are we living for? We’re just existing in a state of slavery to ourselves. Without striving for the divine, we’re just living to suffer,” she added.

Referring to Shen Yun’s present-day dance piece depicting the Chinese Communist Party’s persecution of Falun Gong, Ms. Roy said China’s communist regime is committing “crimes against humanity,” and that it is a “demonic movement.”

“[Shen Yun] is a huge eye-opener because they speak the truth here. A lot of people have a very narrow field of news and that tends to breed blindness. It will breed catastrophe if you don’t compare all the data and think for yourself and use the power of observation. That’s how you know who’s telling the truth and [who’s spreading] propaganda,” Ms. Roy added.

“[Shen Yun] represents the fight of mankind. The fight between good and evil for humanity around the planet,” she said.

“The Highest Level I Have Ever Seen”

Former Ukrainian dancer Anastasia Morenko at the Shen Yun performance in Berlin on January 1 (NTD Television)

Anastasia Morenko, from Ukraine, was originally a professional dancer. She has many years of dance experience and has performed on stage in Germany numerous times. She saw Shen Yun in Berlin on January 1. 

“They are really outstanding. Their skills are superb, and they are the highest level I have ever seen,” Ms. Morenko said. 

“From the very beginning, I had a lot in my mind, those (difficult) skills, such as how to do the dance moves from one pose to another... I can understand these, but I can’t express them. I saw the facial expressions of each actor, and they were very involved in the story they performed, showing these to the audience and making them understand. They showed a variety of emotions (of the characters), a lot of emotion. It was just amazing.

“I can’t describe it. Everyone should come and see it for themselves and experience it for themselves.

“They are really outstanding dancers. They must have put in a lot of sweat and time. They are amazing. I can’t find words to describe them. They did a great job. I want to learn from them. A skill that will never be forgotten.

“The orchestra is simply amazing, the music is incomparably beautiful and magical, and the dance moves and music match very well, seamlessly. (The performance) attracts people firmly from the beginning to the end,” she said. 

“Everything Was Amazing”

Don Neff, president of a construction services company, at the Shen Yun performance in Miami, Florida, on January 1 (The Epoch Times)

Don Neff, the president of La Jolla Pacific, Ltd, a construction services company, saw Shen Yun in Miami, Florida, on January 1.

“The program was excellent! There were gorgeous colors, dancing, stories, history, culture, etc. Everything was amazing, and very inspiring,” Mr. Neff said.

He thought that the values presented in the performance could drive away the evils people encounter in life. “For example, the last program showing ideas of kindness and evil, and kindness defeats evil. The culture presented by Shen Yun tells people that they should seek kind and pure values. In life, every day there’re devils that we have to deal with, so we have to continuously strengthen these kinds of values to drive away devils and live more healthily,” he said. 

Mr. Neff also wanted to learn more about China’s faiths, so he bought the book Falun Gong in the theater lobby. 

“I think in Chinese culture and history, like Confucianism, Buddhas, monks, they all have similarities with Christianity. This is something I didn’t know before,” he said. 

Mr. Neff said he had paid attention to Shen Yun for a long time and finally had the chance to see it. “This is a charming performance, very inspirational. I have to recommend it to my friends,” he said. 

Chinese Attendees: “Highest Realm of Chinese Arts”

Mr. Zhong from China saw Shen Yun in San Francisco on January 4. “Shen Yun presented China’s excellent traditional arts coupled with reality, offering the highest realm of Chinese arts to Chinese people as well as Americans, various Western ethnicities, and various Eastern ethnicities. I think it’s great. Thank you, Shen Yun Performing Arts!” he said.

Mr. Yuan from China was brought to tears after seeing Shen Yun. He said he hopes that Shen Yun can perform in China. “Traditional Chinese culture is very precious, for the spirit of our Chinese ethnicity, especially in modern society. Traditional Chinese culture should not be lacking, especially Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. We were very touched to see this,” he said. 

Shen Yun New York Company Arrives in the United Kingdom

Shen Yun New York Company flew to the United Kingdom after completing performances in Boston. The company arrived at Heathrow Airport in London on January 2, and was welcomed by local fans. (The Epoch Times)

Shen Yun was scheduled to present eleven performances in Woking, Birmingham, Edinburgh, and Oxford in the U.K. Prior to the performances, tickets were almost all sold-out. 

Michelle Lian, principal dancer for the Shen Yun New York Company (The Epoch Times)

“[Shen Yun presents] Chinese culture that was passed down for five thousand years, instead of the culture that was created by the Chinese Communist Party. And I think that’s very very special to me, because I am a Chinese and I think it’s very important to have this heritage passing down,” said principal dancer Michelle Lian.

“We do meditation in between the shows to re-channel our energy and relax and rewind, and it really helps us throughout the shows,” she said.

David Xiao, principal dancer for the Shen Yun New York Company (The Epoch Times)

“Dancing of a group, it’s not about dancing for myself or trying to show myself. But as a group, how we convey this message to the audience... And I feel like our audience members can really see this on stage, because the energy that we portray is really pure,” said principal dancer David Xiao. 

Yuting Huang, principal dancer for the Shen Yun New York Company (The Epoch Times)

In regards to how Shen Yun dancers are able to achieve perfect synchronization, principal dancer Yuting Huang said, “When we conduct ourselves in daily life, we first consider other people and put others first. When on stage, when we dance together, we take care of each other and look out for one another.” 

As for Shen Yun’s use of classical Chinese dance to tell stories, she said, “For Westerners, there wouldn’t be understanding barriers. They would also be able to understand the stories and the meanings behind them.” 

Shirley Guo, harpist (The Epoch Times)

“Shen Yun orchestra is special because it has combined the Chinese classical music and the Western classical music and it’s found a perfect combination. So what the audience will hear is something very unique,” said harpist Shirley Guo. 

“For us, we’re all here for one purpose, and it’s to bring goodness to humanity, to bring more faith into humanity, and to touch upon people’s spiritual side,” she said.

Upcoming Performances

Shen Yun continues its 2023 tour with upcoming performances in Atlanta, Georgia, January 8; San Francisco, California, January 8; Austin, Texas, January 8; Norfolk, Virginia, January 8; Birmingham, United Kingdom, January 8; Frankfurt, Germany, January 10–12; and Nishinomiya, Japan, January 8–9.