(Minghui.org) Shen Yun Performing Arts continued to tour Europe and North America from February 27 to March 5, 2023 with performances in Bydgoszcz and Lublin, Poland; Logroño, Spain; and the American states of South Dakota, California, Illinois, North Carolina, Montana, and Indiana.
Shen Yun Global Company at the Opera Nova in Bydgoszcz, Poland, on February 27 (The Epoch Times)
The company presented three sold-out performances in Bydgoszcz on February 27–28. The originally scheduled performances in both Polish cities (Bydgoszcz and Lublin) were sold out in advance and the local presenter added one more show in Bydgoszcz to meet the demand. The tickets for this performance also quickly sold out.
Audiences in Bydgoszcz, Poland: “Here, We Saw That China Has a Beautiful History, a Grand Culture, and a Great Spirit”
Jaroslaw Żołędowski, CEO of Mennica Skarbowa S.A., the largest dealer of investment gold and other precious metals in Poland, and his wife Ewa Żołędowska at the Shen Yun performance in Bydgoszcz on February 27 (The Epoch Times)
Jaroslaw Żołędowski, CEO of Mennica Skarbowa S.A., the largest dealer of investment gold and other precious metals in Poland, and his wife Ewa Żołędowska saw Shen Yun in Bydgoszcz on February 27. The couple traveled from Warsaw (around 140 miles (225 km) from Bydgoszcz) to see the performance.
Mr. Żołędowski remarked, “Wonderful. There was the beauty of dancing as well as spiritual messages... Basically a call for traditions, faith, and the spiritual space.”
The lyrics of the bel canto performance left a deep impression on the couple, who are Catholics. “Overall, this is very close to our [faith]. From all angles and dimensions, we found a common ground in a certain kind of value... We can find many common grounds,” he said.
“We Europeans are rooted in Christianity. We found [in Shen Yun] a kind of culture that is distant and foreign to us but also very close in many aspects. This is a beautiful discovery here. Because people often connect many things to China, but those things are not that good. Usually [people would think of] China, the CCP’s nation, politics, COVID, and many other things. But here, we saw that China has a beautiful history, a grand culture, and a great spirit. This is the most important,” Mr. Żołędowski said.
Ms. Żołędowska also enjoyed the performance. She said “The performance was outstanding. It left people with a magnificent impression.”
Jerzy Czerski (third from right), president of the Polish Tourism Association in Miedzyzdrojach, brought 19 of the company’s board of directors to see the Shen Yun performance in Bydgoszcz on February 27. (The Epoch Times)
Jerzy Czerski, president of the Polish Tourism Association in Miedzyzdrojach, brought 19 of the company’s board directors to watch the Shen Yun performance in Bydgoszcz on February 27. They traveled over 300 km (186 miles) to see the performance.
“Truly so perfect, so great... It’s about peace, about life, about nature – these are all the most important,” Mr. Czerski said. He also said the performance made him feel “reborn.”
Shen Yun Global Company at The Centre for the Meeting of Cultures - Opera Hall in Lublin, Poland, on March 2. The company presented two sold-out performances in Lublin March 2–3. (The Epoch Times)
Shen Yun New York Company at the RiojaForum in Logroño, Spain, on March 5. The company presented four performances in Logroño March 3–5, all to packed houses. (The Epoch Times)
Shen Yun New Era Company at the packed house (with added seats) at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California, on March 5. The company presented seven performances in Costa Mesa February 28–March 5, all to packed houses. (The Epoch Times)
Shen Yun Touring Company at the packed house at the Coronado Performing Arts Center in Rockford, Illinois, on March 1. (The Epoch Times)
Shen Yun New World Company at the Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, on March 4. The company presented four performances in Charlotte March 2–4, all to packed houses. (The Epoch Times)
Shen Yun Touring Company at the Clowes Memorial Hall, Butler Arts Center in Indianapolis, Indiana, on March 5. The company presented two sold-out performances in Indianapolis March 4–5. The tickets for the performances were sold out three weeks in advance and the local presenter opened up seats with obstructed view to meet the demand – which were also sold out prior to the performances. (The Epoch Times)
“It Was Spiritually Uplifting”
Andy Landis-Halingstad, writer, former dancer, theater songwriter, and student mentor, at the Shen Yun performance in Billings, Montana, on March 4 (NTD Television)
Andy Landis-Halingstad, a writer, former dancer, theater songwriter, and student mentor, saw Shen Yun in Billings, Montana, on March 4.
“Stunning. It’s beautiful. It was spiritually uplifting,” Ms. Landis-Halingstad said.
“It was very informative about what’s happening in the world. I felt like the title was perfect, about the beauty in the divine and the beauty in humanity. [It] really moved me a lot. I felt like it was very brave, fun, funny, joyous, and uplifting, and at the end, good triumphs over evil. I mean, it was wonderful. It was wonderful.
“I’m most interested in making plays that move the human heart, fill the creative spirit, and draw people towards one another. I want my plays to inspire truthful conversation and expose the depths and width of our human experiences,” she said.
She said it is important for people to see something like Shen Yun nowadays. “I think it’s important because I think that it told us about the Chinese traditions that we don’t understand, that we don’t know, you know, here in the States.
“We don’t understand a lot of that and everything that we’re learning is not necessarily helpful for us to understand. I mean, I love history, and so much of what we learned in the show, we didn’t know. And you also brought to the present some of the things that are happening in China that we really need to know about which was so brave. And I really appreciated you doing that. It was very brave,” she said.
Ms. Landis-Halingstad described her feelings as she watched. “I kind of got teary during a couple of the performances... [and it] still makes me tear up. It grieved me to see the suffering, and yet it uplifted me to see them overcoming,” she said.
“Ancient history has the belief in life after death, and that was very well represented. The triumph of good over evil really moved me and uplifted me. So thank you for that,” she said.
As a former professional dancer, Ms. Landis-Halingstad was impressed by the dancers. “So, the dancing in here was unbelievable. The balance, the perfection, the unity, and the ways that they danced was stunning to me. The colors, the beauty. The way that the performers would jump off the stage and come up on the screen! That was just amazing. And the colors of the water and the flowers that you have in the show is just incredible.
“The dancers were just superb, every single one of them. I watched their faces and I was blown away by the joy that they—and they have to be tired by the end. I was thinking they had to be tired. But they were joyous. Yeah, they were amazing,” she said.
The vocalists’ lyrics also made an impact on her. “The songs that they sang, the lyrics of the songs, as someone who used to be a professional songwriter, the lyrics were stunning. They were sacred, and divine, and the message of good overcoming evil was very, very clear in the lyrics. And I feel like everyone should see that, because of the hope it gave us,” Ms. Landis-Halingstad said.
She hoped more people would see Shen Yun to learn more about traditional Chinese culture being divinely inspired. “I believe that. I think that’s important for us to know, for us to understand. And I appreciate so much what you’re doing and how you brought that to life for us. I wish everyone could see it. Really, it was great,” she said.
“The Love That Was Meant for Humanity”
Cristina Capatina, director of operations for a life insurance company, at the Shen Yun performance in Costa Mesa, California, on February 28 (The Epoch Times)
Cristina Capatina, director of operations for a life insurance company, saw Shen Yun with her daughter and granddaughter in Costa Mesa, California, on February 28.
“Beautiful. We love the music. We love that reviving of that beautiful culture,” Ms. Capatina said.
She said her 5-year-old granddaughter wants to start ballet after seeing the performance. “I mean, wonderful skills and a wonderful orchestra. The music and dancers are fantastic. I am very impressed,” said Ms. Capatina.
Ms. Capatina is from Romania. She spoke about Shen Yun’s mission of showing the world “China before communism.”
“To me, coming from a communist country myself, it touched [me]... because it’s so true. It’s not right what’s happening, and that’s why we were here. I hope to preserve the liberty in this country,” she said.
Ms. Capatina saw what was behind the beauty of the performance. “It’s discipline, it’s resourcefulness, it’s leadership, and to me, it’s really, really hard work – good work ethics. So definitely, all combined – it is really what life is all about,” she said.
“I’m a firm believer,” she added, relating her faith in the divine aspects of traditional Chinese culture. “And I’m a Christian so, to me, it is the Divine, the God who created such a wonderful world in Eden, the garden of Eden. And man’s sin was actually what corrupted this. The atheism and all the evolution – it’s false. It’s not the truth.”
She was moved by the key values in the performance. “Absolutely compassion, truth, and the love that was meant for humanity. But it was perverted. That persecution seemed to speak a lot to me just because we experienced it in Romania. I’m from Romania originally. It has really resonated again, bringing back a lot of memories,” she said.
“I know lots of Christians still suffer. We are praying that God will continue to make miracles, and then bring that light into this world.
“The truth is that God loves this world and created so much beauty for all of us to enjoy. I hope the message will get revived and brings back what He originally intended,” she said.
“It’s Absolutely Pristine”
Todd Hewey and Jill Horton at the Shen Yun performance in Charlotte, North Carolina, on March 4 (The Epoch Times)
Todd Hewey, a producer for Christian television station Inspiration Ministries, and Jill Horton, a special education teacher, saw Shen Yun in Charlotte, North Carolina, on March 4.
Mr. Hewey appreciated many aspects of the performance, including “the colors, the beauty of the pageantry, the artistry, the athleticism of the dancers. The humor, I really liked that a lot. The orchestra was spectacular.”
“I enjoy the taste of Chinese culture and history, and the dancing is entertaining,” said Ms. Horton.
“It’s marvelous to see stuff that goes back into China, throughout tradition, and you just don’t see that as much, except here with this show. I really appreciate that,” Mr. Hewey said.
“It’s absolutely pristine,” said Mr. Hewey, from the standpoint of a producer. Shen Yun has an all-new program every year, which he observed would be “a full-time task to create new dances, new moves, the choreography, the music, new stories. Good gracious, that’s a lot of work!”
“The color and motion is really mesmerizing. With the music, everyone glows. Everyone glows on stage, and that comes across—that joy of them performing and dancing,” he added.
“It’s inspirational in that you’ve got people who are for traditional China, for their faith that they have there that they practice, and that they’re also talking about the negativism of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party), which has squashed so much creativity in China. And so, when you see this, it gives you hope that other Chinese people will take that hope and throw off the chains of the CCP,” he said.
“China needs to be free... China needs to be free so that the Chinese people can practice what they want to practice, to do what they’d like to do, without fear of repercussions from an evil group of totalitarians that’s known as the Chinese Communist Party, who are not the Chinese.
“Chinese culture is ancient and did so much for the world. Since the CCP has come in, it has brought a darkness over that country and the countries surrounding it.
“More people have to see it... More people have to see what these performers are doing,” said Mr. Hewey.
To Shen Yun’s performers and Artistic Director, Mr. Hewey wanted to say, “Thank you for your hard work and making a marvelous performance. It was very inspirational.”
“Beautiful Like a Myth”
Xavier Arrieta, former mayor of Azkoitia, at the Shen Yun performance in Logroño, Spain, on March 3 (NTD Television)
Xavier Arrieta, the former mayor of Azkoitia, saw Shen Yun in Logroño, Spain, on March 3.
“Beautiful like a myth. Exquisite and delicate. The music and everything were stunning and wonderful. It’s definitely worth seeing,” said Mr. Arrieta.
“For me, the exquisiteness of Shen Yun’s clothing [left me the deepest impression]. Also the techniques of Shen Yun’s dancers. Every moment of the performance was the perfect synchronization between music and dance. There’s also the effect of the background backdrop, which lets you enter other dimensions. Truly wonderful.
“[In the performance] you can already see a path. I don’t want to say that it is a difficult path. But simply put, this is a kind of path that could exist in China after having gone through a communist revolution. You can see a sign that Chinese people have been and are being crushed in a fast way. Shen Yun is a kind of path that would improve China’s situation. They presented this path through dance and characters from China’s ancient history and myths,” he said.
Officials from California’s Orange County Welcome Shen Yun
Orange County Third District Supervisor Donald P. Wagner (right) presented a proclamation in person at Shen Yun’s performance at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California, on March 1. (The Epoch Times)
Vicente Sarmiento and Donald P. Wagner, members of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, respectively issued a certificate and a proclamation commending Shen Yun.
Mr. Wagner, Orange County Third District Supervisor who represents over 630,000 residents, personally presented a proclamation at Shen Yun’s March 1 performance at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa.
“The unique classical, ethnic, and folk dances of Shen Yun Performing Arts are based on ancient myths, legends, and heroes yet remain timeless,” Mr. Wagner wrote.
In addition to entertainment, the performances serve as “morality plays that share lessons on good character, virtue, and values that shape a beautiful society,” he wrote.
“This may be the show that Beijing doesn’t want you to see, but... here in Orange County [we’re] happy to show it,” he told The Epoch Times at the performance.
The city of Irvine in Orange County issued a certificate of recognition, thanking Shen Yun for “offering audiences of all ages a stunning experience of consummate beauty and goodness.” City officials stated the performances not only entertain but also “deeply educate, enrich, and inspire.” (The Epoch Times)
Shen Yun continues its 2023 tour with upcoming performances in Denver, Colorado, March 11–12; Claremont, California, March 11–12; Venice, Florida, March 11–12; Prague, Czech Republic, March 11–12; Calgary, Canada, March 11–12; and Tainan, Taiwan, March 11.
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