PARIS, France — On Feb. 19, Shen Yun Performing Arts arrived in the City of Lights for the seventh time since debuting its first international tour in 2006. Wrapping up seven sold-out performances at Paris’ prestigious International Convention Center, audience members raved about Shen Yun’s use of immersive digital backdrops, vibrant colors and costumes, gravity-defying acrobatics, music, and choreography.
Founded in 2006, Shen Yun Performing Arts is the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music company. Based in New York, the company aims to revive traditional culture and values through breathtaking performances in dance and music — all while showcasing what China was like prior to the ravages of communist rule.
Made up of a large ensemble of elite artists comprising more than 500 dancers, musicians, and vocalists, Shen Yun has eight equally-sized companies that tour and perform around the world simultaneously; putting on a brand new production each year.
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‘Shen Yun’s digital backdrop is incredible’
Elisa De Blay — who works as a senior account manager for a major tech company in Europe — told reporters: “Shen Yun’s performance is very gorgeous, and the dancers’ skills are amazing.”
De Blay made special note of the performing arts troupe’s use of an immersive backdrop display: “Shen Yun uses a high-tech backdrop and the design is just incredible! I’ve never seen it anywhere. I can’t put into words how I feel; it’s stunning, what a surprise,” she said.
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One of the defining features of Shen Yun performances is its use of high-tech digital backdrops. The backdrops are synchronized with the live performers to create an illusion of seamless transitions between different scenes and locations. This helps to transport the audience to a world of ancient China — full of vibrant landscapes and awe-inspiring landmarks.
De Blay, who attended the performance with her mother, said she was very impressed with the performance and was glad she got to experience the magic and wonder of the performance. “Shen Yun’s shows are unparalleled,” said De Blay’s mother, Axelle de Flers, who works as an account manager at a real estate agency in France.
“The dancers have magical abilities on stage, and I learned that Shen Yun’s creation of the digital backdrop is patented.” said de Flers, adding, “This technology takes us into another space; it’s truly remarkable.”
‘Shen Yun embodies a very high level of aesthetic beauty’
François Mabillot — a professional trainer who attended the show with his wife — told reporters that, “Shen Yun’s performances are thought-provoking and remind people that ancient traditions are disappearing,” adding that he believed the shows have a unique ability to help people “feel the connection between heaven and earth.”
“I think Shen Yun artists are very brave with how they’ve depicted the persecution happening in modern-day China” he said, adding, “I think [the performance] will inspire many people; it is very moving, indeed.”
One of the show’s key themes is the depiction of Chinese persevering in their faith despite persecution, particularly in modern-day Communist China. Through powerful and emotive dance pieces, Shen Yun sheds light on the struggles faced by practitioners of Falun Gong — an ancient spiritual discipline that has been banned and harshly suppressed in mainland China since 1999.
‘As beautiful as poetry’
Mabillot’s wife, Muriel Mabillot, works as a senior executive in France’s medical field. She shared with reporters that the message behind Shen Yun’s performances carry profound connotations. “The last dance number shows the transition from the old world to the new,” she said, adding, “Nowadays, people are addicted to the internet and social media, and have forgotten the real meaning of life.”
“Shen Yun’s show is excellent, the dancing is outstanding and of a high artistic level,” she continued, adding that she believed the “combination of dances and costumes reflect a very high professional level of aesthetics.”
“Shen Yun’s [use of a digital] sky is so beautiful that it is as picturesque as poetry. We had a wonderful time,” added Mabillot.
‘I hope Shen Yun can help the world return to tradition’
Sylvie Haudiquer, who attended the performance alongside her daughter, said the event served as a wonderful occasion to share with her family.
Haudiquer — who works as a training director for a French company — shared with reporters that she was stunned by the content of each Shen Yun piece. “All the details are so delicate and very majestic,” she said, adding, “The last dance drama titled ‘Divine Renewal of the Human World’ gave me hope for the future.”
“This dance drama tells a moving story and shows that people in the world are beginning to wake up,” she said. “Shen Yun allows us to understand the ancient Chinese philosophy, which makes me want to know more about ancient China. I hope that Shen Yun can continue to help the world return to tradition.”
Haudiquer’s daughter Elodie, who works as a community operations manager said, “Shen Yun is so colorful and gorgeous, and helps the audience learn about China; which we know very little about,” she said adding, “I particularly enjoyed the dance titled ‘Water Sleeves.’ It was really elegant and stunning.”
Shen Yun’s dancers and acrobats — who hail from all over the world — perform graceful and athletic movements to bring to life stories of ancient dynasties, traditional ethnic dances, legendary figures, and modern-day China. The female dancers showcase the delicate beauty and grace of ancient princesses and damsels; while male dancers bring the strength, perseverance, and agility of war generals, ancient deities, and scholars.
The performances are also accompanied by a live orchestra that blends classical Western and Chinese instruments to create a unique and soul-stirring soundscape.
For more information on Shen Yun Performing Arts, including FAQs and ticketing information, please visit the official website here.
Reporting by Vision Times correspondents in Paris.