(Minghui.org) The world renowned Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company staged nine exhilarating, sold-out shows at Taiwan’s National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taipei February 20-26, 2013. Shen Yun is very popular in Taiwan, with performances usually selling out months in advance.
Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company nine shows played to full houses in Taiwan’s National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taipei
Taiwan’s National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taipei
Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou sends a flower bouquet to congratulate Shen Yun Performing Arts
Taiwan cabinet ministers send congratulatory messages to Shen Yun
Shen Yun Itself Is “Art and Culture,” Declares Art Critic
Yang Sen-Hong, member of the International Association of Art Critics: “Shen Yun is number one.”
Of the many arts enthusiasts who attended Shen Yun was veteran journalist Yang Sen-Hong, who is also a member of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) in Taiwan.
“It is very different this year,” he said, having seen the show for so many years. “From the very beginning of the show, I felt a different level of confidence and presence on the part of the performers. In the past, they seemed to be dancing as carriers. But this time, Shen Yun itself is dance. It has changed from ‘We are dancing’ to ‘Dance is us.’”
Shen Yun Truly Pays Homage to Chinese Culture
He explained further. “When I look at those early works from the Renaissance, I see the confidence of the artists; be it their sculptures or paintings, there is a confidence there that says, ‘No one can do it better than me.’ That same confidence is in Shen Yun. The performers are showing us that no one can dance better than they can. It is the number one show. That’s the feeling. No critique is ever needed. It is number one. It represents itself. If there is ever a cultural renaissance in China, this could be the start!”
Yang Sen-Hong talked about the many standards that the AICA uses to define the arts and measure the overall quality of an art form. “I see (Shen Yun) itself is the arts. It is the culture. This is something hard to come by.”
He also spoke about the revival of Chinese culture. “The effort made by Taiwan cannot be compared to the effort made by Shen Yun, not to mention the destruction of Chinese culture by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Shen Yun has kept the genuine values of Chinese culture, and further elevated them to the level of art. They have refined the art of dance and performance, and brought new spiritual meaning to the arts. It is a true homage to Chinese culture.”
The veteran journalist believes that mainland China’s biggest problem is that it confuses price for value. He said, “Under the leadership of the CCP, people think that the CCP is rich. But I see that it knows money but not value. Shen Yun stands at the opposite end of the spectrum, that is, Shen Yun stands on the side of values. Those values cannot be approached, however rich the entire country of China is.”
He pointed out that, although traditional culture is absent from China, today, “true Chinese culture is found overseas. Perhaps someday, I hope it [Shen Yun] can return to lead China.”
“Shen Yun Is the Highest Principle,” Says Painter
Also in the audience was Chao Te-wan, a professional painter, who was seeing Shen Yun for the second time. “Shen Yun promotes the highest principles through arts and shows us the spirit of world harmony,” Ms. Chao enthused.
She was mesmerized by Shen Yun’s portrayal and imagery of a god’s world. “Seeing the soldiers and generals from heaven, I truly believed that I was in heaven at that moment. I felt that every part of me was being purified, including every single strand of my hair,” Ms. Chao touched her hair as she said this. “The feeling was as if I must have had some kind of predestined relationship to be able to see Shen Yun.”
After having attended all kinds of large-scale performances since the age of 14, Ms. Chao said that “None of the shows have reached the realm of Shen Yun.”
Ms. Chao was amazed by the horrific calamity depicted in the dance “Divine Mercy” and how divine beings restored the devastated earth. “By now, people should believe that there are divine beings above us who want to do good,” she said.
Ms. Chao said that she agreed with the old Chinese saying, “The written word is supposed to carry the truth.” and commented, “The highest principle is formless. Shen Yun is the highest principle; it carries the highest principle of art and passes on the spirit of world harmony.”
In Shen Yun “Tradition and Creativity Coexist,” Says Professor
Professor Feng Chao-Lin enjoys Shen Yun Performing Arts in Taipei.
Also seated in the audience was Feng Chao-Lin, a professor of educational philosophy and aesthetics at National Chengchi University.
He said that Shen Yun raises the issue of suppression and injustice in society and is therefore, an artform that warrants respect and support. “The story that inspires me the most is “An Unexpected Encounter,” Feng explained. It is about a father and daughter who meet Falun Gong practitioners in Tiananmen Square while visiting China. They take a picture with the practitioners and are later arrested and taken away. In prison, they learn the truth about the persecution and have a miraculous encounter with Falun Dafa.
Feng continued, “In the story, even though the father was not a practitioner, he disapproved of the violence, suppression, and injustice the practitioners were subjected to. In the field of education, aesthetics consists of two aspects: the sensual aspect, which touches people’s hearts, and the intellectual aspect, which inspires people to think and reflect on things at a deeper level.
“Seeing the injustice and paying attention to this public [Falun Gong] issue is what this performance brings us to. An art form such as this is worth praising and recommending.
“Through the different programs, I was able to experience the unique beauty and style of each dynasty’s culture throughout Chinese history. Different ethnicities have their characteristic beauty and culture, and, as time goes by, all of these ethnic characteristics merged into a complex culture that allows people to truly savor its richness.
“The masters of ceremonies said that the program changes every year. Indeed, if Shen Yun draws ideas from Chinese traditions, it will never run out of ideas. Tradition and creativity coexist. One takes ideas from tradition, and, through non-stop creativity, brings new life to the tradition,” Feng added.
Son of an Official in China: Shen Yun: “Like a Beautiful Scroll Painting”
Another delighted guest was Mr. Li, who currently teaches at a top-tier university in southern China. Both of his parents are high-ranking officials in China.
He said that he had heard great things about Shen Yun and was curious about how it had become a world sensation. So he went to Taiwan with some of his friends and students to see the show.
The theme of Shen Yun deeply impressed Mr. Li. He said, “I have never seen this style of performance; very impressive, especially the elegance displayed in dance. Feminine beauty and masculine power causes the audience to gasp in admiration. Their dance skills are so masterful; they surpass ordinary dancers.
“Everything on stage, from costumes to lights, music, and the backdrops, is indescribably beautiful. Han couture has been highly praised. Not until I saw Shen Yun’s costumes today did I understand that Chinese traditional attire is very delicate and gorgeous. The culture passed down by our ancestors is really magnificent and tolerant, and is worth reviving.
“Undoubtedly, the beauty, human nature, and divine glory presented by Shen Yun touched our hearts. Every religion in the West believes in the divine because it reflects a universal value. Watching Shen Yun allows me to understand the essence of genuine Chinese culture. In my opinion, this kind [of divinely inspired culture] is absent in China.”
He concluded, “Shen Yun is like a beautiful scroll painting, in which the true China is depicted. I hope that Shen Yun can go back to China—the origin of divine culture.”
Student from China: Shen Yun “Very Unique and Profound”
Also visiting Taiwan from China was Chen, a young student who currently studies at a university in China. He came to Taipei to see Shen Yun perform, bringing along a few of his friends.
“In the mainland, I didn’t really enjoy folk dance performances very much,” he said “But it was not the case today! The more I saw of Shen Yun, the more I enjoyed it.
“[Shen Yun] perfectly portrays the distinct characteristics of different ethnicities’ dances. I liked ‘Inspired Dance of the Yi’ the most. It accurately illustrated the Yi girls’ tenderness and gracefulness, which I felt was great. It presented something very unique and profound.” Chen also enjoyed “When Shaolin Monks Protected the Emperor” and “Sand Monk Is Blessed,” which are adapted from historic legends.
He explained, “I have never seen a performance like this! The Chinese authorities often boast about how wonderful the performing arts are [in China], but basically they are hollow words.”
“I feel that what is presented by Shen Yun is very noble and splendid, because what they present can really touch one’s hearts and change one’s feelings. Shen Yun is great. If possible, I will visit Taiwan to see it again.”
Retired General: Shen Yun Helps China to Be Blessed by Gods Again
Retired General Zhao Zixiang speaks highly of Shen Yun
at the National Dr. Sun Yat-sun Memorial Hall in Taiwan on February 20.
(Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times)
Zhao Zixiang, a retired Taiwanese major general, was also seated in the audience.
He talked about how Shen Yun “promotes the spirit of the divinely inspired Chinese culture,” noting that “China should also recognize the connotations of kindness and compassion in our comprehensive Chinese culture, so as to bring about a far-reaching vision to China.”
Mr. Zhao said that he was amazed by Shen Yun’s worldwide reputation. He also said that Falun Gong’s popularity could usher in a new era for China.
The retired general also noted the mercy of Buddhas and gods portrayed in the Shen Yun show, saying, “The Chinese authorities should realize that, if Shen Yun performed in China, it could lead the younger generation to another realm of culture, and, once again, the gods would look favorably on China.”
Mr. Zhao especially liked the dance “Sand Monk Is Blessed,” and how every aspect of the show was perfectly synchronized, such as the sound effects, lighting, dancing, and digital backdrop. He felt that Shen Yun offers audiences an incredible experience and called it a world-class show.
Shen Yun Conveys the Highest Principles, Says College Dean
Tsai Yung-Wen, Dean of the College of Performing Arts of National Taiwan University of Arts attends Shen Yun in Taipei
Among the many distinguished VIPs attending the show was professor Tsai Yung-Wen, Dean of the College of Performing Arts of National Taiwan University of Arts.
As a tenor, opera director, and artist, Mr. Tsai admired how Shen Yun conveyed the highest principles of Chinese culture through art.
Mr. Tsai said that Shen Yun blends various art elements into one and succeeds in its mission to educate the audience. “Everyone knows [the Chinese novel] Journey to the West. Simply reading or watching the story is not so thrilling. Through fantastic staging, brilliant dancing, and amazing music, Shen Yun’s story-telling brings the audience closer to the characters in the story, and that is the cultural exchange. Nowadays, dance alone can no longer reach people’s hearts. Dance must include music, singing, and orchestral music, so it can exemplify great choreography, which can move people.”
Mr. Tsai said that he understands the skill and artistry that the Shen Yun Orchestra has mastered. “It’s very difficult for an orchestra to do a live performance the way they did. The orchestra must have rehearsed with the dancers many, many times.”
He was also impressed by the singers, their vocal technique, and the the lyrics. “They truly did a terrific job, as singing Chinese in bel canto style is not easy. Even a person who is not religious can feel the power in the lyrics,” he said.
“When the Buddha appeared in the end, it was the most amazing and touching moment. That finale is definitely the climax of the show.”
He also appreciated Shen Yun’s mission to revive China’s 5,000-year-old civilization. “Shen Yun brings out the part of Chinese culture that has core values that people must cherish. Our society lacks ethics, loyalty, filial piety, and righteousness. It is wrong when there is only self-interest left in human relationships.”
He concluded by stressing the inseparability of art and morality. “It is the morality and meaning inside the arts that touches people’s hearts.”
Shen Yun “Penetrated My Heart,” Says Company Chairman
Huang Shih-yen, chairman of Hotaifugi Metal Products, and his wife. (Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times)
Huang Shih-yen, chairman of Hotaifugi Metal Products Co., Ltd., said Shen Yun “is quite refreshing!”
“The level is just extremely high. The whole production team painstakingly put everything together. It is simply perfect. No wonder they can perform more than 300 shows around the world,” he enthused.
“I think the future generations in China will be able to hold their heads high. The show was just brilliant. It really moved people to tears.”
He said that the dancers, orchestra, and the dynamic backdrops in every program were “just amazing, just splendid. It’s really creative!”
Mr. Huang said he was moved to tears several times. “It deeply penetrated my heart. I feel that the world is truly surprised that Chinese people can perform this well. It is really a lasting charm from gods. I was very touched.”
He noted that the dances, flips, and tumbling were extremely difficult to do. He also thought the costumes were wonderfully elaborate. Mr. Huang said that Shen Yun “is the glory of the Chinese people” and it gives Westerners “a very good way to learn about Chinese culture through classical Chinese dance.”
He concluded, “I really want to tell people to hurry and come see the show. I hope more of my friends can come and experience an array of feelings that they’ve never felt before.”
Shen Yun’s Energy Improves Health and Purifies the Mind
Mr. Cheng is a Taiwanese currently working in China. Even though he is extremely busy running his 500-staff company, he always finds time to fly back to Taiwan each year to see Shen Yun.
Mr. Cheng used to suffer from severe gout, but after after watching Shen Yun for the first time, his gout miraculously disappeared!
“Each time I’ve watched Shen Yun, I slept especially well that night. Four years ago, I suffered from gout, but after I watched the show, the spirit or energy of Shen Yun purified my mind and had a positive effect on my health, too. From then on, I didn’t suffer from gout anymore. It was a kind of energy field that has a positive effect on people. That is why I come back every year, no matter how busy I am. In fact, I am flying back to China tomorrow.”
Many Taiwanese businessmen are hesitant to see programs that contain information on Falun Gong. Since the spiritual practice is still being persecuted in China, they fear retaliation from the Chinese regime.
“Most people don’t talk about [the persecution of Falun Gong] in public in China. When we chat in private, the Chinese people basically think that Falun Gong is a qigong practice and that the persecution is a regime blunder. However, people change and time changes, too. The story that unfolds in the dance “An Unexpected Encounter” is bound to happen more frequently.”
After watching Shen Yun, Mr. Cheng feels very positive. “Each time I see the show, the energy settles down my emotions. I feel tranquil and inspired to return to my true self, to my genuine, kind, and beautiful nature.”
Mr. Cheng encourages other Taiwanese businessmen who work in China to see Shen Yun every year.
“The stories can rectify society’s degenerate values and promote traditional Chinese culture. Business owners can reflect on themselves, too, and can purify their souls through watching Shen Yun!”
Sources: Minghui.org and theEpochTimes.com
CATEGORY: Shen Yun Performing Arts