(Minghui.org) Shen Yun Performing Arts‘ Company brought lots of warmth to a very cold Belgium. The New York-based dance group performed before four packed houses, from March 11-13, 2013, at the Théâtre National, in Brussels, the capital of the European Union.
In Shen Yun, Doctor Sees “A China with a Soul”
Dr. Giuseppe Benassi (Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times)
Not even blustery, snowy weather could deter a large turn-out to reach Brussells’ National Theater for a warm, full-house, premiere of Shen Yun.
One of the delighted guests of the show, Dr. Giuseppe Benassi, a high-ranking civilian at NATO, said that Shen Yun had “really opened a window to a world that at least to us, is largely unknown.”
He said that with Shen Yun’s portrayal of China’s ancient culture, one could “see a China with a soul. It is so much closer to us now; very rich, and with a great, great, ancient culture that is not known by many.”
After seeing the show he realized for the first time that Chinese culture is “really centered on the soul.”
“I was surprised to learn how deeply the concept of the soul is rooted in Chinese culture.” All of that is “very profound, I would say religious. It really hit me, the religious sense that pervaded the performance.”
Dr. Benassi shared his thoughts on China, saying that most Westerners think of the country in economic or mercantile terms, and also as something alien or far away.
Indeed, “China looks—to most of the people that I know—like another planet,” and sometimes looks, from the outside, merely like “a house where everybody works and produces.” Yet, in his opinion, Shen Yun displayed something different, “completely another image.”
“It centers on the human being as an individual and not as a producer or a consumer, or something like this. It really struck me.”
He talked about how religious belief “is an essential part for the human race,” and how “it should really transform our lives and give us sense to what we do. In this regard, soul is something that drives our actions from inside. It dictates the way we relate with other people, with other cultures.”
In conclusion, Dr. Benassi sent his warm congratulations to the Shen Yun performers: “I like history and I like your religious sense, so this really triggered some interest and maybe I will go further in trying to understand what I earlier defined as a strange, unknown world.”
Shen Yun, “An Experience of What China Is”
Mrs. Doms and Mr. De Vos (Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times)
Also enjoying the show were Mr. De Vos and Mrs. Doms, who both work as sales managers for a large Brussels hotel.
“It’s a discovery in all aspects,” Mr. De Vos said. “The diversity of the dance styles, the way they dress, the presentation, all greatly influenced me, not to mention the synchrony between the dancers.”
Mrs. Doms was moved by “the attitude of the dancers, always smiling, and the colors,” adding, “It’s really amazing; and the scene in 3-D is very innovative.”
Mrs. Doms was referring to the digitally animated backdrops that perfectly synchronize with the dancers singers, and orchestra. Animated figures appear on the screen and then seem to magically appear onstage as live performers.
“This show is an experience of what China is. We can see this respect for nature that we, on the contrary, have lost. And this spiritual side, which is very advanced, is something that we have lost.
“Finally, the strength of the collective takes precedence over the individual. Shows in Europe contain little on the spiritual side, while it is present here. Moreover, more and more people are now interested in spirituality,” she explained.
Mr. De Vos saw Shen Yun as “a show of contrasts,” saying that “There is art and total control of the heart and expertise. This seems typical of China.”
Shen Yun a Must-See
Joanna and Jonas
Also in attendance were Joanna, a university teacher, and Jonas, a policy adviser in Brussels.
“I loved the costumes!” exclaimed Joanna. “They are absolutely magical. I have never seen anything like this in my whole life, and these are memories I will really preserve.
“So many colors and details and everything was fitting together! Especially when the dancers were moving, it created a beautiful picture!”
Jonas described Shen Yun as “a symphony of harmony,” adding, “I liked the way it was orchestrated, it was impeccable and marvelous—really! The music was a merging of different instruments, which made it so special.”
One unique feature of Shen Yun is its orchestra, composed of Western and Chinese instruments.
Both Joanna and Jonas discovered Chinese culture and spirituality through Shen Yun, which they say opened up new perspectives for them: “I did not know about classical Chinese dance before and found it incredibly beautiful,” says Joanna. “I have a lot of respect for the dancers who perform something so difficult.
“I also did not know that the spiritual aspect was so important and I value it. It was really well shown with the dances that displayed shining gods.”
Jonas added that he had never realized how much the communist regime in China had repressed and trampled on this spiritual element of Chinese culture.
Financial Chief: “I Have Never Seen Anything as Rich and Varied”
Marie and Joel
Another audience member, Joel, who works in the financial industry, was accompanied by Marie.
“I have never seen anything as rich and varied,” said Joel. “In fact, it’s a spectacular performance, which is extremely comprehensive since it combines visual effects and video, as well as poetry and decoration. We are very impressed,” Joel explained.
Marie found the combination of beauty and professionalism most impressive. “What touches me is the effect of it, and it is so beautiful, and all the work that has been put into the production.”
Joel said. “It has been presented in a way that renders it alive.”
Marie said that Shen Yun was presented “very, very well,” adding, “It directly displays the values that are the foundation of what Shen Yun is. It is calming, actually.”
As a musician, Marie thoroughly enjoyed the music of the Shen Yun Orchestra. It is “very well structured.”
Shen Yun: A Joy “To See Young People Represent Such Ancient Art!”
Mike Miller (Photo courtesy of NTD Television)
Mike Miller, who works for the Canadian Royal Navy, said he had recognized that “there was a lot of work put into the production, especially in the costumes and the core sets.”
He said that he was very touched by the artists and their passion: “To see so many young people in these times, performing such an ancient art form, and you can tell that they really put a lot of work into studying their art.”
CATEGORY: Shen Yun Performing Arts