SYDNEY—Ian Warwick, who studies classical singing at the Australian Institute of Music in Sydney, found the highly-acclaimed Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company mind blowing.
“I loved it, I absolutely loved it! I loved seeing everything about China. I’m so fascinated about China, especially Chinese opera too,” Mr. Warwick said. “All the color, and movement, and elegance and grace—it’s too much for the mind!”
New York-based Shen Yun’s 2013 world tour of Oceania is winding down. Since returning from New Zealand, the performing arts company will perform two more shows at the historical Capitol Theatre tomorrow at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., before leaving for Canberra.
Hailed as the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music company, with an orchestra joining instruments from East and West, beautiful costumes, and a stunning back drop—this is Shen Yun at first glance. But digging deeper, one discovers a sea of traditional Chinese culture that Mr. Warwick so enjoyed.
Principles such as benevolence and justice, propriety and wisdom, respect for the heavens, and divine retribution, all come to life, washing over the audience.
Mr. Warwick was introduced to Chinese opera by fellow students at the musical institute.
“It’s just fascinating to think that our own culture is only 200 years old, whereas China is thousands and thousands of years old,” he said.
His understanding of the depth of China’s divinely-inspired heritage has deepened since seeing Shen Yun, he said.
“It’s so interesting the way you combine both Western music and Chinese music together, it’s really fascinating.”
The ability to seamlessly blend these two systems to create one fresh, harmonious sound is what makes the Shen Yun Performing Arts Orchestra unique, the website explains.
This is how the effect is achieved: A Western philharmonic orchestra plays the foundation, while traditional Chinese instruments lead the melodies.
As a student of classical vocals, Mr. Warwick was moved by the singers and was treated to an impromptu encore from soprano Min Jiang.
“Huge voices, very, very talented,” he said.
Mr. Warwick found a bunch of adjectives to summarise his experience. “Beautiful, elegant, energetic, a feast for the eyes, it has everything, and it’s such an unusual show to have in Australia—it’s very special to have something like this here,” he reiterated. “It’s nothing that we have in our own culture.”
“It’s something so new to us, so fresh, so insightful, so deep—it’s glorious.”
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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