Audience Reactions from Shen Yun's Performances in Amsterdam

AMSTERDAM, Holland--Shen Yun Performing Arts received a warm welcome on its second night in Amsterdam's RAI Theatre on March 6.

Fashion Designer Inspired by Shen Yun

Fashion and interior designer Nicole Anthonio from The Hague came to the show with two of her friends. In an interview during intermission, Ms. Anthonio said that she felt a sense of predestination with Shen Yun.

"It was no coincidence that I came here. It just had to be. I met a very lovely Chinese woman who was was promoting the show. I was really moved by that."

Designer Nicole Anthonio (L) with friends Kayla and Stephen at the RAI Theatre on Saturday evening

Ms. Anthonio was very pleased to come, as she "got a lot out of it. It touched my heart--the music, the costumes, the dancing. It made me feel good."

Ms. Anthonio was accompanied by two of her friends, Kayla and Stephen, who said they are both very spiritual. Kayla said that she can see beings from other dimensions. During the erhu (two-stringed Chinese instrument) solo performance, Kayla said that she had an extraordinary experience.

"I saw energy forming when the erhu was played and beings lit up with energy," she said. "Different beings were lit up different energies. It was really interesting."

Ms. Anthonio said she couldn't see what her friend saw but she was "moved from the heart," during the performance.

There were many parts in the show that moved Ms. Anthonio. Referring to the dance "Nothing Can Block the Divine Path," which shows the persecution of Falun Gong in today's China, she said, "I tried not to cry. It is really touching because you know it is happening all the time, that people are persecuted in China. They don´t have freedom, freedom of speech, or to do what they want."

Media Company Owner: "This was [to bring out] the best part of us."

Among the appreciative audience for Shen Yun's March 5 opening performance in Amsterdam was Jolande van der Kemp, owner of the media company Feston Media.

"It is a very cultural show," she said, admitting that her interest in culture had not touched on Chinese ancient culture, before now.

Both she and her husband enjoyed the show very much. In particular, they enjoyed "Nothing Can Block the Divine Path," the piece with the little child, whose mother is arrested in a park for practising the spiritual meditation system Falun Gong.

She said the scene was very dramatic, and her husband was moved by the expression on the child's face. "It was a good performance. We believe they were telling us this [to bring out] the best part of us."

Jolande van der Kemp, owner of Feston Media, at the RAI Theatre.

Manager: "The show is an enrichment for the culture"

"It was so beautiful to watch the show, especially the dancers," said Mr. Leon van Maren, manager of a Dutch insurance company, after watching the March 5 performance. He said he often goes to ballet and dance performances, but he had never seen a show of classical Chinese dance before.

He found out about Shen Yun when he picked up a leaflet in a store. The leaflet interested him and so he did some research about the show on the Internet and decided to come. After seeing the show he was even more enthusiastic and said that he would recommend it to all his friends.

In a modern day portrayal of Chinese culture, New York-based Shen Yun performs two dances that deal with issues in contemporary China, where spiritual belief is persecuted.

Mr. van Maren said, "Falun Gong is persecuted in China. Falun Gong has, in fact, something to present. The show is an enrichment for the culture." He found it impressive that such an issue could be exposed, despite the ruling of the communist regime.

Shen Yun "Totally Inspiring"

Narena Piersma and Anneke Booy attended the performance on March 5. Ms. Piersma had bought tickets to the show as a surprise for Ms. Booy. Ms. Piersma enthused, "Loved it! Absolutely loved it! The colours, the energy, the excitement, everything. It's so, how do you say it? Like pure and full of joy. I really loved it."

Chinese classical dance has a rich heritage and varies from soft, graceful movements to ones of energy and strength. Ms. Piersma felt the Shen Yun dancers gave so much more than a simple performance. She said, "What they do is so energetic. The energy you see in the arms and every movement, it is so inspiring, totally inspiring.

"Inspiring in the sense of ... for the movements, and joy they have on their faces. The whole presentation ... I love it, I totally love it! Next year I will be back."

Ms. Piersma had not heard of the persecution of Falun Gong in China today. She was shocked to learn that people were being tortured for their beliefs. She was touched by the performances "Nothing Can Block the Divine Path" and "Astounding Conviction."

"I respect it [Falun Gong] way more because I didn't know that they were being arrested for doing meditation and the whole story behind that. I didn't know that, and now it is more clear, it is more clear that it is happening today," Ms. Piersma said.

Ms. Booy said she already knew about the persecution. "I knew. I know [in China] you can't believe your own faith, you can't practice it, and they put you in prison, or beat you up, or whatever. You can't go freely to do your work. It's amazing that it's happening today."

Ms. Piersma added, "Unbelievable. So it's good that [Shen Yun] brought it out and now we know. It's color and happiness and joy, but still serious."

Both ladies loved Shen Yun so much they were disappointed when the performance ended. ".. you never want it to end," Ms. Piersma said.

Ms. Booy said, "The beauty of it! You want to see more."


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