SYDNEY—The iconic Capitol Theatre’s star-spangled domed ceiling and ornate interior were outshone by the Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company on Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 12.
The theatre was filled to capacity as the New York-based Shen Yun mesmerised its audience with its presentation of classical Chinese dance and music, at its best—a study of grace and elegance.
President of the Blacktown Rotary Club and the proprietor of the 133-year-old Royal Cricketers Hotel, Daniel Kellie, was the first time seeing Shen Yun. The hotel was licensed in 1880 as the Historic Roadside Inn.
“It is very enjoyable, very interesting, very animated and the costumes are fantastic. It’s just great. It’s good that we have some commentary at the same time that explains what’s going on. It’s a fantastic show,” Mr. Kellie said.
Sophisticated dance techniques, an orchestra joining instruments East and West, beautiful costumes, and a stunning back drop, particularly where mortals and divine beings merged on stage as one, were just some features Mr. Kellie found intriguing.
“The way they’ve combined the dancing and the characters with the screen in the background, a multi-dimensional performance. It’s not just watching a play … it’s more than a play.”
Shen Yun’s mini-drama pieces draw upon stories and legends that span China’s history from the Yellow Emperor and through the Tang and Song dynasties and all the way to the modern day.
A unique feature of Chinese civilization is that its history has been documented and passed down uninterrupted for 5,000 years, sometimes in vivid detail, the Shen Yun website explains.
Mr. Kellie enjoyed the technical skill of classical Chinese dance. Other than complete training in the fundamentals, it also entails systematic training in movements and postures, as well as very difficult jumping and tumbling techniques.
Though the performance was informative, he would urge others to go see Shen Yun for themselves.
“You should go to watch it to explain it. It’s just a different experience altogether,” Mr. Kellie said. “I’ve been to opera, I’ve been to ballet and things like that, and this is a different way of translating [ancient Chinese] culture to us.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Raiatea Tahana-Reese.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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