Germany: Professional Dancers Enjoy Shenyun

On February 21st, 2009, the New York Divine Performing Arts company celebrated China's traditional culture in Frankfurt's Century Hall. As well as providing a feast for the senses, the inner meanings conveyed by the performances depicted something of the richness of China's ancient civilisation.

Professional dancer: The expressions on the faces of the Shen Yun performers are something that we do not have

The Scharfe couple from Frankfurt were professional dancers, and have even taught dancing for several years. Upon receiving an interview at the half time break Mr. Peter Scharfe said excitedly, “Very good! The backdrop is a very good plan, and the orchestra is also wondrous beyond words.”

When talking about the dancing specifically, Mr Scharfe said three things were exceptionally good: “Because of the relation to our jobs, we are looking at choreography and posture from a a professional point of view. We really like this kind of dance very much, one can see what kind of training they have gone through, and their performance is very fascinating. The performers have even trained the tips of their hair, especially those female dancers have very lasting charm”. Veronika Scharfe said, “The male dancers are also very good, and in addition they are so graceful!”

Mr. Scharfe made the point that the dancers in Germany have a particular posture, and have a particular consciousness of the body, which of course is a kind of skill. “However we cannot perform the same countenance and charm that they (the DPA performers) possess. Their movements are completely different from ours, and when they move they have different skill, so smooth that it seems not a single hair on their body was moving. Even if they are just standing, their posture is not the same. It seems as if they use the speed of a hundred metre runner, and they can still carry a full cup of water on top of their heads, and they would not spill a single drop of water.”

He sighed and said, “That we can see such a performance is our great honour.” “That’s certainly so,” expressed Mrs. Scharfe in acknowledgement. Mr. Scharfe followed on saying, “The performers' dress was also very beautiful, the colours were so magnificent and bright coloured. Although we don’t see these sort of songs here, but the feeling was also very great. To put the lyrics on the backdrop is a very good idea, the people can match the music.”

Advertising man: the perfect combination of culture and dance

Mrs Rickert with her husband

Christa Rickert works in advertising, and at present is task manager of the market part of a large furniture chain company. At the end of the show she was still in her seat recalling the program that just passed.”This evening show did not only take culture and dance and put it together perfectly, and took ancient history and the present at put them together perfectly”, Christa Rickert said in admiration. Mrs. Rickert used to study ballet from the time she was six years old until she was sixteen, and she said that therefore she can totally know from experience the hardships that the DPA performers have gone through. “When I was small I also practiced dance, I know how much laborious sweat is needed to make those dance steps which look light and elegant. All along I admire those outstanding performance artists, because good performance artists, not only have to have outstanding innate talent and performing ability, they also have to be good at expressing different emotions. The most important is that they have to have a plentiful spirit, and through dance these will unfold before the eyes of the audience, the audience can feel it.”

Mrs. Rickert was also very captivated by the music, and she feels that the Shenyun orchestra took Chinese and Western instruments and mixed them together perfectly. “I feel that the performance’s music makes people fascinated. I have heard unmixed Chinese music before, but to tell the truth, speaking of our ears, we need a process of getting used to it; but the music from this afternoon, sounds very pleasing to the ear, comfortable, and I feel that the instruments of China and the West have been mixed together very well, on the one hand you have the quality inherent in China, and on the other hand it lets people not feel that it is totally unfamiliar. I think that this kind of a mix really is a success.”

Her husband who had been listening by her side all along modestly said that he himself is a chemist, and has no relation to the arts. When talking of his own impressions he said, “I feel that the message of this performance is very strong, especially the compassion and dignified message that is given in the show, I am very moved, and like it very much. Those dances all have a story line, a development process, and it helps to understand the picture.”

Previous director of building construction: Tthe performance was so beautiful that it makes one forget to breathe”

Mr. Elsner, who has a rich life experience, used to be the director of a building construction society. He expressed that the DPA performance gave him a deep impression. He said, “This for me truly is a completely new experience”. He continued, “It is so beautiful that you have to hold your breath. The program of the performance is vary and are various, the power of expression of the performers is strong, and the matching of colours is very wonderful.”

Mr. Elsner’s whole family: The Chinese people who have seen Shen Yun must be very happy

Mr. Elsner is interested in Chinese culture and researched the teachings by Confucius on self conduct. However, the aspects of Chinese culture and traditional values presented in the Shen Yun show were something he had never seen before: “It gave me a pleasant surprise. I think that the Chinese people who see the Shen Yun performance will most certainly feel happy. At present China is in a period of historical change, and in the future of Chinese society, there most certainly will once again appear some people possessing individual thought. I am thinking, whether the principle of the show will produce an important influence on Chinese people.”

Another thing that left Mr. Elsner with a deep impression was the Chinese music: “I didn’t know that Chinese music was so plentiful. The orchestra of the Shen Yun arts troupe is formed of Eastern and Western instruments, and this enables the Chinese instruments to have ample play and show.”

In addition, the moving backdrop that presented various different colourful mountain and water landscape paintings, also fascinated Mr. Elsner. He had once seen this sort of Chinese mountain and water landscape in old paintings, and he said in praise: “This performance really is a grand banquet of colour and dance. The Shen Yun performance is an outstanding classic creation, it is a classic work with magnificent colours permeated with vitality, there is no way that you cannot be immersed in it’s charm. I can only say, that it is so beautiful that it really can make you forget to breathe.”

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