SALFORD, United Kingdom—Shen Yun has brought the magic of traditional Chinese culture to millions around the globe through exhilarating dance, music, and song.
On the afternoon of April 20, Shen Yun gave its penultimate performance at The Lowry Salford, uplifting and thrilling theatre-goers with dazzling costumes, mesmerising movements, and soaring melodies.
Thomas Protheroe, a retired marketing manager for a pharmaceutical company, was blown away by the costumes.
“The costume designer deserves some terrific recognition,” Protheroe said after the performance. “The colours are unbelievably beautiful.”
“You only see colours like that closer to nature,” he added, comparing them to the vivid colours of the flowers in his garden.
Shen Yun transports the audience from ancient dynasties to the modern day through classical Chinese dance—an expressive art-form characterised by graceful, flowing moves as well as dramatic jumps and flips.
Through dance, the performers bring to life stories, myths, and legends from China’s 5,000 years of divinely inspired culture, as well as capturing the essence of the many ethnic groups that make up China.
The athleticism and technique of the dancers left a deep impression on Protheroe.
“I thought the Mongolian horsemen were very evocative and the movement, very very quick,” he said.
“There was one lady and she only did one move and I went [sharp intake of breath] and she had a leg right up in the air and she turned to 180 degrees on one foot maintaining the same pose. Well, that was breathtaking for me!”
He was particularly touched by the elegance of the dancers.
“In modern society, certainly in modern British society, we’ve lost a little bit of elegance and that beautiful movement, the smoothness of the movement. We’ve become more everyday and coarse, slightly coarse. So I find it very refreshing as an example of how we might live our lives,” Protheroe said.
Part of Shen Yun’s mission is to revive the traditional culture of China—one that was deeply connected to the divine. The performers follow in the tradition of meditation and self-cultivation—believing that “cultivating the heart is the way to create art that is beautifully sublime,” according to the Shen Yun website.
Protheroe said that the “values that the dances showed and the general ethos of the show” is what he will take away from the performance.
“It draws you to the better values of humankind, and I love the idea—which in some sense is also a part of Christianity—the divine is in each of us, therefore you should express that gift by song, by dance, by whatever talents you have been given—you should express your inner person by those various forms,” he said.
“I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.”
Other members of the audience were also touched by the beauty and energy of Shen Yun.
When John Grant, a pharmacist for the National Health Service, saw the curtain rise, he knew he was going to love Shen Yun.
“This is what I came for,” he said, recalling his feeling at the time.
Grant is a part-time musician and was delighted to hear the Shen Yun orchestra, which blends Eastern and Western instruments together.
When he first heard the music, it put “a smile on my face immediately,” he said, describing the sound as “so pure.”
Heather Smith, an insurance broker, felt like she was meditating while watching Shen Yun.
“It takes you completely away from yourself,” she said. “When you watch [Shen Yun], [your mind] empties automatically, because you sense it, as you’re watching it. It does take you away, like you’re meditating.”
With reporting by NTD Television, Jane Gray, and Kat Piper.
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time and has covered audience reactions since the company’s inception in 2006.