NEW YORK — One of Shen Yun Performing Arts’ touring groups has returned to the U.S. after completing a six-month long tour across several countries in Europe.
The company, named Shen Yun World Art Troupe, arrived at New York’s JFK international airport on the evening of June 14, and was received by a group of fans eager to welcome the troupe back to its homebase of New York.
Through breathtaking dance and music, Shen Yun Performing Arts is the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music company — bringing artists from all across the globe in stunning performances showcasing vibrant costumes, acrobatics, and choreography — all while reviving 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture and heritage onstage.
The last stop on the European tour was Cagliari — the capital of Sardinia, Italy — where the group performed to packed audiences in four sold-out shows. Some audience members said they came to see the show through the recommendation of friends and family, while others said Shen Yun was so highly praised that they drove almost 200 miles from the northern tip of the island all the way to the southern end in order to experience it.
In addition, the troupe also toured seven cities in France to sold out venues as well as cities in Poland, the United Kingdom, Czech Republic, and Germany. Nearly 90,000 people experienced the beauty of Shen Yun’s performances and were excited to welcome the performers back to their hometowns.
Shen Yun puts on a brand new production each year, showcasing brand new costumes, choreography as well as dance and music performances. The company currently has seven equally sized dance and orchestra troupes that tour simultaneously around the world.
‘Shen Yun answers the most fundamental questions of humanity’
Milan Nachev, the troupe’s orchestra conductor, said that during the 2021-2022 touring season, the group performed almost 100 shows across prestigious venues in Europe and the U.S. — bringing the art of “pure beauty and tradition to thousands of audience members.”
“The audience was particularly excited after every performance, and when we came out for the curtain call, we were very moved by the audience’s enthusiastic applause,” Nachev told Vision Times.
“We could see in their eyes that they were very excited, were moved by our work, and we feel that we have fulfilled our mission of spreading traditional Chinese culture,” he said.
When asked why so many European audiences and people from all different backgrounds, religions and cultures appreciate Shen Yun’s performances so consistently, Nachev said, “It is because Shen Yun answers the most fundamental questions of humanity, not just for the Chinese, but for all of humanity.”
“They understand the values presented by Shen Yun in a very profound way,” he concluded.
While sharing his experience with Vision Times reporter Ouyang Jun, principal dancer Pan Keqi said, “I thought that after such a long period of time in seclusion, people might become indifferent to each other, but during these months of touring, I found that our audiences were as enthusiastic as ever,” he said.
“The audience’s response was really good, and the applause was so enthusiastic that in several places we had three curtain calls and the audience still did not want to leave,” Pan said.
Pan mentioned that during this year’s tour, one of the roles he played was that of a military doctor who took part in the Chinese regime’s forced organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline introduced to the public in 1992. Since then, the practice has been embraced by tens of millions of people in China and around the world.
In July 1999, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began a massive campaign to eradicate the practice after seeing its quick rise in popularity as a threat to its authoritarian rule. After the persecution began, hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong have died from torture and abuse — with the number still on the rise. Many adherents have also been subject to relentless harassment, arrests and arbitrary imprisonment at the hands of Chinese police.
“What touched me the most was that many of the audience members learned the truth about Falun Gong after watching the program, and some even went to the front desk and bought “Zhuan Falun,” said Pan. “This makes me feel that what we have done has made the audience accept our message, and this is what makes me feel most gratified.”
Zhuan Falun is the main text of Falun Gong’s teachings and encompasses the discipline’s pillars of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance. On the day-to-day, the practice focuses on the improvement of moral conduct through interpersonal conflicts and highlights the importance of elevating one’s mind.
‘Shen Yun’s message’
After completing the troupe’s European leg, lead dancer Zhang Ruri said he did not feel tired even after performing so many shows because he felt inspired by the audience’s enthusiasm and support.
Even at times when the troupe had performed several shows in a row without breaks in between, Zhang said he felt rejuvenated and excited to bring the best performance to audiences across Europe and the U.S. “Once the curtain went up and I saw the audience, I was just in the zone, and felt eager to bring the best performance and message to our audience,” Zhang said.
The audience understood Shen Yun’s message,” he said, “Because truth, kindness and patience are universal values, and they resonate with audiences of all nationalities.”
With reporting by Ouyang Jun.