Frankfurt Germany's celebrated venue, Jahrhunderthalle, was the proud host of the Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company for three shows March 12-14, 2010. Resounding applause and numerous curtain calls attested to the fact that the audience thoroughly enjoyed this world-class show.
|Thomas Mann, a member of the European Parliament.|
Among the many distinguished audience members was Thomas Mann, a European Parliament member. "I'm delighted to be here today and see a gem in the hundreds-of-years-old Jahrhunderhalle of our Main-Rein River region," he said.
Especially appealing to him were the different ethnic folk dances performed in the show. "One lived through the diversity that exists in China ... from the mountains where the Tibetans are found, to the steppes where the Mongolian people live. The choreography was outstanding and the wonderful songs elicited many feelings," said Mr. Mann.
He commented on the audience response, saying, "The audience was thrilled, which could be seen by the many curtain calls. The people just wanted to continue with their applause."
In discussing the orchestra he said, "I was highly impressed by the orchestra. Generally, the East and West are on opposite sides, but the language of music finds a way to unite them. This is something we have not been able to accomplish very well, yet I think that this is very important.
"I must say this was a fantastic orchestra. It is an international melting pot that we have seen tonight that elicited important emotions. I find this to be of great importance."
He was happy to see the Chinese words to the different songs translated on the backdrop of the stage. "It was good to see the Chinese characters and the German translation below."
Commenting on the two dance pieces "Nothing Can Block The Divine Path" and "Astounding Conviction," which depicts the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China, Mr. Mann said, "The two pieces were very impressive. They clearly show that if one supports freedom of opinion, one is brutally beaten and is not allowed to demonstrate it. I see that with the Tibetans and also with Falun Gong, where one is pushed into a corner and suffers unprecedented pressure."
He continued, "Those two pieces are an integral part of the entire performance ... and that is very important.
"The message inherent in the performance is that a country can only find acceptance if one treats its minorities with respect. And I think this message is very important, and is understood everywhere, especially by the people that were here today."
He concluded by saying, "The most difficult part is that one knows what one has seen is reality and not fiction. It is a bitter reality. For me, the understanding is that one has to have increased motivation to improve the situation. One has to find the opportunity to bring what is happening to a resolution. At the same time, one needs to bring people in that are willing to support the issue.
"It is my hope that the many people that were here tonight were touched by these stories and that they received an important message."
"The visual and the acoustic effects are overwhelming"
|Garry Mair, president and owner of the Plan OHG firm, consultants for construction projects.|
Garry Mair, the president of a construction consultant company, was also in the audience.
During intermission, Mr. Mair, who is versed in nine languages, including Chinese, said, "The artistic capacity of Shen Yun is the best. It's very professional and very well choreographed. The show, viewed from the dance performance perspective, was tops."
In discussing the bilingual emcees that introduced each dance in both Chinese and German, he said, "It is of great importance to the Chinese people in the audience to be introduced to the show by the emcees. Anyway, with shows that have such foreign content, it is important to explain to the audience what to expect next. This was done exceedingly well."
Looking forward to the second half of the show, Mr. Mair said, "I liked everything I've seen so far. I think that this is a very successful evening because I can see in everything the professionalism of the artists. Everything is just perfect ... and that is tops in my mind.
"It is lots of fun to see this show. Seeing something live is so much different from when just reading about it."
Continuing, he said, "Also, it is different if one sees something like that on television. It comes across totally different ... especially when speaking of the colors and the acoustics ... it is so much better than experiencing it on a screen. I am truly impressed."
He thoroughly enjoyed the orchestra, too, saying, "The orchestra played perfectly. The main issue is that the orchestra is in the background to enhance the dance performance. The visual and acoustic effects are overwhelming."
Mr. Mair next talked about the singers. "I have to repeat similar thoughts. The individual singers are outstanding. And again, the orchestra provided the background and set the mood to what was sung on stage.
"I personally am what you may call an optical person, and therefore the music stayed in the background and did not push itself into the foreground. Yes, the music was the background that enhanced what was happening on stage. For me the optical impression was so strong that the music just stayed in the back of my mind," he said.
"Wonderful to behold"
|Astrid Joos, board member at ValuePrice AG|
Astrid Joos, an ex-ballet dancer who is currently employed as a board member at ValuePrice AG, an independent financial consulting firm, came to the show to learn a bit about traditional Chinese culture.
"I thought the show was really interesting. This is the first time that I've seen a Chinese show. I do like ballet and enjoyed dancing in the past, but this is the first time that I've seen Chinese dance. It was very interesting," she said.
"I am not that familiar with Chinese culture. I must say that this was quite an interesting experience, and I will be more than happy to tell others about this show."
Having had experience in classical ballet, she said that there were elements in Shen Yun that she had never been exposed to, adding that these elements "most certainly must have originated in the Chinese culture."
Ms. Joos delighted in the different ethnic dances portrayed by the Shen Yun dancers, saying, "China is a very vast country and that most definitely means that there are many different cultures. You have tried to represent some of these cultures on stage and that was truly interesting."
She particularly enjoyed the Mongolian dance, "Mongolian Hospitality," saying, it was "wonderful to behold. The underlying music and the jewelry added the special effect that made this dance memorable."
In talking about her overall impression of the show, she said, "The costumes were beautiful and very elaborate and colorful. There was a lot of silk, which must have been quite costly, as there were so many dancers.
"There were so many young ladies and men that danced exceptionally well. This is quite an undertaking. They must have practiced day and night to be able to synchronize that well. That really is not easy," adding, "I myself have performed on stage and know how difficult it is to harmonize a group of people, especially one that did as well as this group of dancers."
She also thought the orchestra "was a good orchestra--an extremely good orchestra."
Being thoroughly impressed with the show she said, "I will tell others about this show and if you return next year, I will be in the audience."
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