(Minghui.org) The New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts staged seven sold-out shows in Taiwan at the Taoyuan County Performance Center Performance Hall from March 27-31, 2013. Shen Yun travels to more than 100 cities around the world with a brand-new production each year, featuring classical Chinese dance, spectacular digital backdrops, intricate handmade costumes, and a full-size orchestra that seamlessly melds Eastern and Western sound.
Shen Yun Can “Awaken Humanity,” Says Former National Policy Advisor
Former national policy advisor to the president of Taiwan, Huang Shih-cheng
VIPs from every field attended Shen Yun performances, one of them being Huang Shih-cheng, former national policy advisor to the president of Taiwan.
Mr. Huang is currently the president of the Taiwan International Cultural Education Foundation, as well as the president of the China Writers’ Association. He said that over the past seven years, Shen Yun “has demonstrated traditional Chinese culture and wisdom through classical Chinese dance and backdrops in a very vivid and natural manner.
“It is indeed very touching. As to the music, it is soul-stirring,” he added, describing Shen Yun as “a perfect cultural and artistic performance.”
“Since it has been highly praised in various countries—such as the United States, Europe, the United Kingdom, Germany, and France, etc.—it is advisable that we welcome it,” Mr. Huang noted.
The former national policy advisor talked about Shen Yun’s contribution to the people of Taiwan and to human beings, in general: “Especially in Taiwan, I think it would be very rare for us to see such a high-level performance. I think it has contributed tremendously to uplifting the artistic level in Taiwan. In the meantime, it can also awaken humanity and rebuild ethical values. It will contribute a great deal to humankind.”
“Traditional culture is worth preserving,” said Mr. Huang, reflecting upon Shen Yun’s mission of reviving 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture.
“Being a person who has worked in cultural circles for a long time—and once served as secretary general of the National Cultural Association—I have always attached much importance to traditional culture, including traditional moral values, ethics, compassion, as well as other values relating to humanity,” he added. “From the cultural contents of Shen Yun performances, we can tell that it fully awakens human awareness—and, therefore, human beings.”
Mr. Huang attributed the current decline of morality in society, especially in mainland China, to “human hearts.”
“As society is in chaos, if we always think of things from the perspective of materialism, we will lose our humanity and have a [negative] impact on the Earth,” he explained.
“Nowadays, few performing arts companies pay attention to humanity,” Mr. Huang noted. “Shen Yun’s programs advocate virtue. Its performances are very positive, which can teach people how to conduct themselves well. I think this is essential for human beings nowadays, as it can awaken people’s humanity and rebuild their values.”
“In other words, basically they are saving humankind,” he added. “It is what is most important at present.”
Arts Expert from Hong Kong: “Shen Yun Is the Hope of China!”
Many audience members were moved to tears while watching the show, including Xiong Li, director of the Xiong Li Dance Company in Hong Kong.
Director of the Hong Kong-based Xiong Li Dance Company, Xiong Li
“It’s really touching; it’s indeed incredible,” he enthused. “With such wonderful culture and art, Shen Yun is indeed China’s hope!”
Mr. Xiong flew to Taiwan from Hong Kong to see the performance. “It was really overwhelming. From the opening program ‘Descending to the World,’” I was moved to tears. It was really very touching.”
He said that he understood why so many people use superlatives to describe Shen Yun: “It deserves its reputation. I felt that the entire show reached the realm of harmony between heaven and mankind, a dance of divine beings with human beings—a flawless perfection.”
For over a decade, Mr. Xiong has dedicated himself to the promotion of Chinese dance and martial arts. He has taught about 9,000 students and was honored with the First Award for Outstanding Contribution in the Arts. As an arts expert, he could see that “the dance skills [of Shen Yun artists] and the choreography are superb.”
“The design of the costumes and the arrangement of colors are perfect. The synchronization of performers and the backdrops and the coordination of music are wonderful. I felt they were perfect,” he added.
Mr. Xiong was also impressed by the high-tech digital projection: “I’ve never seen a backdrop like this before. Shen Yun backdrops are so lively, and they seem real. How did they make it? It was simply alive. It’s amazingly good, and deserves its reputation.”
“In terms of preserving and promoting traditional Chinese culture, only Shen Yun achieves this. It is really not easy to do it effectively and without letting up,” he said. “I think it is very meaningful for Shen Yun Performing Arts to carry forward traditional Chinese culture, because this kind of culture can save China. Without it, China is bound to collapse.”
“Under the one-party autocracy and the [Communist] Party-culture education, people’s morality is declining. Basically, the Chinese people in China worship money and power, and these are their values,” Mr. Xiong noted.
He talked about why the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is determined as ever to destroy Chinese culture: “Its sole purpose is to help the CCP rule China, and to control people’s thinking. Therefore, it needs to promote the Party culture and eliminate traditional culture completely.”
“Shen Yun’s carrying traditional Chinese culture around the world is very meaningful. Shen Yun can create a brand-new China. It [Shen Yun] is a kind of culture, and I think this kind of culture can defeat the CCP,” noted Mr. Xiong.
“Why can’t such a magnificent culture and such wonderful art be presented in China?” he asked.
He praised Shen Yun for promoting universal values: “Truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance are universal values; they are humane characteristics and proper human nature. In the Shen Yun performances, I have found the future of China, and the hope of China.”
Mr. Xiong also commented on the CCP’s attempts to establish a competing traditional Chinese dance company: “I was told that the CCP intended to shadow Shen Yun and establish a similar performing arts company. I think they could never succeed, as it is impossible to create it without thoughts, belief, and other fundamental elements. No matter how much money the CCP wants to invest, there is no way it could surpass Shen Yun.”
“Shen Yun is the hope of China!” Ms. Xiong concluded.
Shen Yun “A Shock From Within My Heart,” Says Band Singer
Lead singer of the Haima Band, Xu Haoxiang
Also in the audience was Xu Haoxiang, the lead singer of the Haima Band. He was accompanied by his four band members.
“It was amazing!” Mr. Xu exclaimed. “They can put together so many different ethnic dances from China in such a short time. They looked like the same dancers, but when they present the dances of different races, you can even see a lot of subtle differences in the dances.”
“I was really surprised by it all,” he added.
One dance in particular stood out to the band singer. “I was so shocked by the Tibetan dance,” he said. “I could completely feel the vitality of the Tibetan youth and the body movements on the plateau in the steps of the male performers. It was really astounding.”
Mr. Xu also took note of the Shen Yun Orchestra. “It is very interesting that they can present Oriental music with so many Western musical instruments, without making it sound awkward,” he said.
“The Shen Yun Orchestra masterfully blends two of the world’s greatest classical music traditions,” reads Shen Yun’s website. “The Western orchestra with its energy and grandeur, and the Chinese instruments with their distinct tones and styles, create a dramatic new sound.”
Mr. Xu said that he was inspired by Shen Yun. “I feel very happy to know that the nutrition of the land of ancient China is so rich! I can see how it’s grown such a beautiful flower today.” He expressed a desire to know more about China’s different races and cultures so that he could “absorb more nutrients from them and let more people hear the sounds from the Chinese people.”
Shen Yun’s high-tech dynamic backdrop “was marvelous,” Mr. Xu enthused further. “Wow! How can they blend modern technology with traditional dance so cleverly?”
“I was greatly moved. I can’t describe my feeling of astonishment with words, because it’s too great a shock from so deep within my heart,” he concluded.
Healthcare CEO: Shen Yun Contains “Unlimited Energy of Life”
CEO of Min-Sheng General Hospital, Yang Min-Sheng and his wife
Yang Min-Sheng, CEO of Min-Sheng Healthcare, and his wife invited around 50 family members, friends, and employees to watch Shen Yun on March 27.
“It is absolutely eye-opening! Exceptionally grand and luxurious!” said Dr. Yang, who owns five hospitals in Taiwan and is also a surgeon and former legislator.
“I originally thought it was a more quiet type of Chinese dance,” Dr. Yang explained. “It turned out to be a performance with a grand momentum. The dancing, music, and special effects contrasted one another and were naturally one. It is a one-of-a-kind outstanding creation. The majestic momentum, throbbing music, and floating dancing movements all blended into the background animation and became one powerful and exciting energy of life that was unbelievably thrilling!”
Dr. Yang asserted that Shen Yun “is a flow of aspiring energy that is hard to come by,” especially in what he called the “dispirited society” of today. “Anyone who comes here should be able to feel it. It will possibly change people’s attitudes toward their lives,” he said.
Many people throughout the world believe that music is a form of medicine, and that different music has different healing powers. “It must be true—splendid music possesses the power of healing,” agreed Dr. Yang.
He stressed that Shen Yun’s power is stronger and more effective than medicine—it holds a supply of unlimited energy of life. “I see unlimited youth, vitality, and energy of life [in a Shen Yun performance],” he said. “I hope more people can come and enjoy it themselves!”
“No Other Group Can Imitate [Shen Yun],” Says Chairman
Another delighted audience member, Chung Kuo-Yun, chairman of the Ivy Health Promotion Association, said that Shen Yun “demonstrates a unique kind of divinity and charm that no other group can imitate.”
“The performance combines the skills of a movie production, which includes brightness and novelty. The artists’ movements and the animation on the backdrop in ‘Sand Monk Is Blessed,’ converged so well,” Mr. Chung said with a smile. “It must have taken the artists a long time to train. That is why Shen Yun is such a world-class group and has received such fantastic reviews.”
“Shen Yun promotes Chinese culture in a very profound way,” added Mr. Chung. “It elaborates on classic Chinese culture through novel techniques. Every movement of the artists relays the message of the divine and its attending charm.”
Mr. Chung noted that although performances in mainland China try to imitate Shen Yun, they do not contain authentic Chinese culture. “I do not see the kind of charm or divine quality or the profound meanings like I did in today’s [Shen Yun] performance.”
Shen Yun “Spreading Something Righteous,” Says City Councilor
Hsinchu City councilor, Chen Chi-yuan
Among the many fans of Shen Yun was Hsinchu City Councilor Chen Chi-yuan, who described Shen Yun as “an artistic feast.”
“Shen Yun is touring the world and spreading something righteous to every corner of the world,” he said. “It is indeed very touching.”
While watching the opening program, “Descending to the World,” Mr. Chen said that he felt like he was among the gods descending to the world.
As a city councilor, Mr. Chen explained that he follows the course of nature and does what he is supposed to do. In line with that thinking, he said that human beings are supposed to be positive and should have positive influences, namely, “righteous perspective, righteous thoughts, and righteous enlightenments.” He saw these qualities portrayed in the nature of the dances presented by Shen Yun, which draw from legends, myths, and ethnicities from across China’s vast lands and lore.
The programs had “strong humane and artistic connotations,” noted Mr. Chen, and the dancers “made good use of their body language to express their feelings.”
He further enthused: “The costumes were exquisitely designed and perfectly arranged. As to the Shen Yun Performing Arts Orchestra, it seamlessly blended Eastern and Western musical instruments, in which Western instruments’ seven-tone scale was perfectly harmonized with traditional Chinese instruments’ five-tone scale. It is indeed amazing!”
Japanese Royal Family Member: Shen Yun “A Very Rich and Diversified Performance”
Japanese royal family member, Tsuneyasu Takeda
Tsuneyasu Takeda, who is a member of the Japanese royal family and a university lecturer at Keio University, Japan, praised Shen Yun for containing “ancient elements” and bringing a sense of comfort and happiness to the audience. Mr. Takeda, is the great-great-grandson of the former Japanese emperor Meiji and cousin of Japan’s current crown prince.
“I appreciate the performance—it puts me at ease. I feel the dances are very outstanding. It is a very rich and diversified performance, which is very enjoyable,” he said.
Mr. Takeda especially appreciated the animated backdrops. “The integration of the dynamic backdrops into the dances is really remarkable,” he said. “I was ecstatic to see the various, spectacular scenes displayed up there [on stage].”
He also enjoyed the Chinese legends and folklore presented throughout the performances. “China has a long history, rich with elements of ancient times,” he explained. “After seeing the show, I feel very happy.”
Mr. Takeda said that he is painfully aware that Shen Yun is unable to perform in mainland China. “Even in mainland China, I think that Shen Yun should be allowed to perform freely,” he asserted. “I also think that it should be promoted further so that more people can experience it.”
When asked if he would recommend the show to others, he replied, “This is something that I have never seen before, so I’ll tell my family and friends that they should see the Shen Yun show at least once. There are a lot of unique connotations of Chinese culture in the program, so I think it will be very good to have more people watching it.”
CATEGORY: Shen Yun Performing Arts