FUSSEN, Germany—Often when referring to Eastern and Western cultures, people think of Europe and Asia. Shen Yun Performing Arts is bringing Eastern culture to the West and sharing the beauty of a divinely inspired Chinese culture with the world.
“Personally it is also important to experience the Chinese tradition, which is depicted here in these dances,” said Erwin Sauter, vice president of a large company.
Shen Yun is based in New York and its mission is to revive 5000 years of Chinese culture through dance and music.
“I am actually touched by many scenes here, by the representation of the dances of the different epochs and the different zones, as it is actually demonstrated here in principle. Thus, very well performed,” said Mr. Sauter.
He added that nations have always been connected in some way and that it is important for different nations to work together.
“That certainly connects the different cultures here in Germany with the Chinese culture, especially in view of the fact that we are also very closely connected economically and we work together,” he said.
Also in the audience were Holger Boppel and his wife, Gabriele, and their two daughters, Verena and Simone.
Mr. Boppel and his wife shared their support for Shen Yun’s efforts in presenting tradition on stages around the world.
“We practically live from history. But people often don’t learn anything from history, from the past. That’s a sad thing,” said Mr. Boppel.
“Because it’s become so technical now, it’s important to think about it again: What is our nature? What is our origin? And what is it about originally in the heart? About feelings, about emotions, about giving them space and giving them expression. That is so important especially right now,” added Ms. Boppel.
Shen Yun’s artists are trained in classical Chinese dance, a dance form with origins that date further back than ballet. The tumbling techniques used in Shen Yun performances are often associated with gymnastics or acrobatics but they actually originate from classical Chinese dance.
“The choreography, all the girls … they perform incredibly well, quite fantastic things. And that is pure acrobatics for me, dance combined with acrobatics. Very beautiful,” said Gabriele.
Sitting in seats close to the stage, they could see some of the finer details in the artistry of the dancers.
“A lot of liveliness, the expression down to the fingertips—we were sitting very close to the front, [and we could see] down to the fingertips, down to the expression, just enchanting, beautiful,” said Gabriele.
The singers of Shen Yun are trained in the traditional bel canto technique. The libretti is translated and projected onto Shen Yun’s patented backdrop so that audiences around the world can understand what is being sung.
Gabriele said that the words seemed “to ask the question, how many will become awake and how many will recognize what our actual origin is.”
“What is actually the most important thing in life, not wealth or other things or goods. Health is the important thing, and harmony,” she added.
Mr. Boppel said his takeaway from the Shen Yun was “That perhaps everything will be all right again, as it might have been in the past. You shouldn’t give up hope. I have that feeling.”
Reporting by Sifan and Maria Han.