SYDNEY—Joon, a Korean painter, was swept into the ancient world of China’s divine culture presented by Shen Yun Performing Arts at Sydney’s Big Top Theatre, May 9.
“Oh it’s beautiful and colorful and … I enjoyed the dancing,” the artist said.
Exquisitely costumed dancers move in synchronized patterns choreographed to match high-tech animated backdrops and an orchestral blend of Western and Chinese original music.
Invited by friends, Joon was seeing Shen Yun for the very first time and he recognised that his own Korean culture came from Chinese culture.
“Some parts are very similar, dancing is very similar,” he said.
Joon said he could understand and read Chinese enough to pick out spiritual connotations conveyed throughout by the artists, dancers, musicians and vocalists alike and spoke of a deep respect he held for Chinese culture.
“Oh yes it’s beautiful, Chinese culture is beautiful,” he said.
In Korea there are many beliefs, Buddhist, Christian and Muslim, and Joon said of the Shen Yun artists; “they are showing something you can understand.”
This sentiment was shared by another in the audience, Kerrie, who works for the Anglican church.
“I loved it, I loved every bit of it, I love the athletic dancing, I love the stories behind the dancing, I thought the costumes were outstanding, I had a great night it was really good.”
Kerrie decided to see the show, with her husband, after seeing advertising for the show.
“We just decided we’d come because we thought it looked so interesting and something different, and we weren’t disappointed. It was a really, really good night.”
Kerrie had never seen a show like Shen Yun that brings to life ancient China to the present in classical Chinese dance, music and song through story-based dance in beloved legends, folk tales and current stories.
“I think I just love the color and the spectacle of it—it was just exciting from start to finish, and there was nothing about it that I got bored with. It was vibrant, it was exciting.”
She said she would “walk away thinking I have just had a really, really good night.”
Kerrie said that growing up with a religious background, she was happy to see how China’s divinely-inspired culture “coming through in what the people believe in and what they fight for and stand up for, so it was a really good experience. I really enjoyed it.”
Also in the audience was singer Agostino Gaeta, a tenor, who enjoyed the show.
“Great, it is fantastic, yes it’s colorful, it’s well coordinated, it’s beautiful wonderful choreography. I would suggest it to anybody.”
Mr. Gaeto said he respected every culture of the world, including his own Italian culture, and because of that he accepted Shen Yun’s portrayal highlighting the present oppression of the ancient Falun Dafa (Falun Gong), a self improvement system, in China today.
“I do go along with the fact that the people have got the right to choose,” he said.
He continued, “the colors are wonderful! The best part I have enjoyed is the soprano, but also the tenor, because I used to be in my young days a singer, as well, a tenor.”
“The tenor—he was a fantastic singer, yes I really appreciated him.”
With reporting by Rona Rui.
The New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company will perform in Sydney's Big Top Theatre, Luna Park until May 19. For more information, please visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org