Visiting Greece for the first time, the New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts staged two awe-inspiring shows at Athen's Badminton Theatre on June 3 and 4, 2010.
According to the hosting Falun Dafa Association, Shen Yun was originally scheduled to perform at Athen's Concert Hall, the Megaron.
But after coming under pressure from the Chinese embassy in Athens to keep Shen Yun from performing, the venue had to be changed to the Badminton Theatre.
|Dr. Ourania Vitsa, a paediatrician|
After Dr. Ourania Vitsa, a local paediatrician, saw the first of two Shen Yun shows at the Badminton Theatre―which she described as "extremely impressive"―she decided to buy tickets to the second performance.
"I was so very impressed yesterday, that I went straight out and bought a ticket for today's performance," she said.
"I was very much impressed. I was so touched by the movements, the emotion, the love for the audience, and by the strong sense of spirituality. It comes close to God.
"I felt like I found myself in higher levels when I saw the performance. I was impressed, I was shaken."
Dr. Vitsa said that she would tell her friends, "It cannot be repeated. You cannot easily find such a performance. It touches your very heart."
She thoroughly enjoyed the animated backdrops, describing them as "very beautiful, innovative," adding, "I have never seen such backdrops. I very much impressed. I was in awe."
Dr. Vitsa also appreciated the music, saying, "It was beautiful. Here, I felt beautiful, relaxed, calm. The show made it easy for me to escape from reality."
She wished Shen Yun would continue to "create such beautiful emotions for audiences all over the world."
Economist impressed by ethereal presence of dancers
|Ms. Doulogeri will be recommending the show to her friends.|
After hearing about Shen Yun and reading several impressive reviews, Goula Doulogeri, an economist, decided to buy a ticket.
"Indeed, I am surprised. I really liked the ethereal presence of the female dancers. Their movements enchanted me. At one point I was really overwhelmed."
Ms. Doulogeri said that she learned a lot about "the spiritual element of Chinese culture," adding that it was not something commonly seen in Greece.
She was taken by the state-of-the-art digital backdrops, saying, "I really did not expect that the backdrop could be combined with the presence of the dancers, the movement, and the music. It was, I would say, a very good combination of the backdrop with the presence of the dancers."
In describing her overall impression of Shen Yun, Ms. Doulogeri enthused, "The ethereal presence of the dancers; that's it, it impressed me."
Ms. Doulogeri said that she would definitely recommend the show to her friends.
"It is worth seeing. ... I would tell them that they have to see this show."
A really enjoyable combination
|Mr. Papadopoulos was impressed by the spiritual message of the performance.|
Kostas Papadopoulos, who works for an engineering company, attended the show because of his appreciation of philosophy and Chinese culture.
After a friend told him about the show, he decided to go. "I really enjoyed the combination of aesthetics, music, dance, and 5,000 years of culture."
He believes that other Greeks need to see Shen Yun, explaining, "Only if they come to see the show will they understand what they have lost, because there are things [in the show] that can't be described."
Commenting on the spiritual message of Shen Yun, Mr. Papadopoulos said, "I think it's the positive message of the dances. If one thinks of the tradition and the spirit that was needed for all of this to be preserved for 5,000 years, when you see it today, you realize there is definitely a strong spirit in order for it to survive this long."
The dazzling costumes also caught his eye: "I really like the combination of the colours. The non-European aesthetics, the colour. This is what I like."
Mr. Papadopoulos thought that the modern backdrops added to the performance but for him, "the dominant element in the show is tradition."
Dance teacher describes Shen Yun as "magical"
|Edith, a dance teacher.|
Edith, a dance teacher, described her experience of Shen Yun, saying: "It's miraculous, so beautiful ... magical," adding "I enjoyed every bit, every bit, and the colours, and the music and the dancing ... the technique."
As she watched the show, her mind was flooded by memories from her past.
"Fantastic, I enjoyed it a lot. It reminded me of the years when I was younger and I was dancing."
"It was very touching"
Also in the audience were law student Sylia Papaloe, accompanied by architect Efi Sklaveniti.
Ms. Papaloe said that Shen Yun's portrayal of China's divinely imparted culture reminded her of "the 12 gods of Olympus" found in Greek mythology.
"It was very nice. We can see the great gods in China, and also I like the colours and the dancing. It was very interesting."
Ms. Papaloe said that the classical Chinese music and dancing in Shen Yun was very calming and relaxing.
"The music is very relaxing ... from the moment we got here and we heard the music, it was ... very nice."
Ms. Papaloe was deeply moved by the dance "Nothing Can Block the Divine Path," which portrays the ongoing persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in contemporary China.
"I really liked the performance of the mother that died ... she became a saint, and she was a goddess as well ... it was very touching," she said.
Ms. Papaloe and Efi Sklaveniti said that they had never heard about the persecution before. "We didn't know, but we learned about it here," said Ms. Papaloe
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