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HomeNewsShen Yun Was ‘Really Eye-Opening to See’ Say Oxford Theatergoers

Shen Yun Was ‘Really Eye-Opening to See’ Say Oxford Theatergoers

OXFORD, UK—Learning about a foreign culture can be both exciting and daunting, but experiencing it through the universal languages of dance and music can make it much more accessible.

Jonathan Clode, a product manager, enjoyed learning about Chinese culture with his daughter Emily Clode, a media and graphic designer, when they attended Shen Yun Performing Arts at the New Theatre on Jan. 14.

“So interesting to learn about Chinese culture, and really eye-opening to see,” said Ms. Clode. “Beautiful dance, beautiful dancing … I grew up dancing, [but] I’ve never seen dance moves like these. The costumes are stunning. I absolutely love it.”

It’s new, it’s unique, I haven’t seen anything like this before.

— Jonathan Clode

“I think that they were brilliant,” said Mr. Clode. “I think that they were so professional and amazing. They’ve obviously worked very, very hard and we’re really excited to see this. It’s new, it’s unique, I haven’t seen anything like this before.”

Based in New York, Shen Yun was founded in 2006 by leading Chinese artists who fled China’s oppressive communist government. Their mission is to revive traditional Chinese culture through classical Chinese dance and music, and to show its audiences the beauty of China before communism.

As a designer, Ms. Clode appreciated Shen Yun’s exquisite costumes.

“The colors, the patterns, the intricacy of the costumes—I’ve loved seeing the traditional Chinese dresses and how they’re used in the choreography of the movement.”

Shen Yun’s program is made up of several dance vignettes, some of which are story-based dances. While most dances focus on the essence of ancient China, there are also dances set in modern-day China that depict the Chinese Communist Party’s persecution of followers of Falun Gong, a spiritual practice that teaches the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.

The father and daughter duo praised Shen Yun for spreading the truth about what was happening in China.

“It’s really, really eye-opening to see some of the realities of what living in China is like at the moment,” said Ms. Clode.

“I thought it was fantastic, showing [the] persecution in China, which is really topical at the moment,” Mr. Clode added. “I thought was really great and very brave.”

“I would love to see a return to tradition [in] China,” said Ms. Clode. “It makes me so sad to think how much it has been changed because of the control there at the moment. How brave they (Shen Yun) are to be performing this and how proud it must make them feel that they are dancing and wearing the costumes of pre-communist China.”

Ms. Clode also appreciated the spiritual side of Chinese culture that Shen Yun presented.

“I’m a Christian, I believe in God, I loved seeing how they (Shen Yun) have incorporated their faith in this and how they believe that God is their hope for their future,” she said. “I very much believe that too, so that’s beautiful to see. I hope that there is a return to that for China.”

Reported by Mary Mann and Wandi Zhu.

he Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of Shen Yun Performing Arts. We have covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.

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