AUCKLAND, New Zealand—Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company showed for the final time at Auckland iconic Civic Theatre on Saturday, Feb. 9, but not before Graham Shaw, a martial arts expert, had the opportunity to buy a ticket to see the performers demonstrate their extraordinary dancing abilities.
Classical Chinese dancing is one of the most comprehensive dance systems in the world and its origins go right back to the beginnings of ancient Chinese culture, some 5,000 years ago.
The New York-based company also showcases folk and ethnic dances, an orchestra that presents a unique combination of Eastern and Western instruments and soprano and tenor soloists accompanied by piano.
Mr. Shaw, a retired company director and a graduate from the Goju-ryu Karate Academy in Japan in 1969, was very impressed with what he saw. He was effusive in his praise, “The ladies were graceful, very elegant, very flexible, beautiful, good artistic flair, good movement.”
“The dancing [was] very good, very agile, swift in parts. The choreography was very good,” he added.
According to the Shen Yun website, the Chinese word for martial is wu; the Chinese word for dance is also wu, written differently but pronounced the same. The two systems of movements have a shared bloodline—whereas Chinese martial arts fulfills the purpose of fighting and defending, classical Chinese dance entertains as a performing art.
With over four decades practicing martial arts, Mr. Shaw was able to appreciate the dancers’ movements from a particular angle. “I enjoy everything that has got timing, coordination, balance and speed, so I am enjoying it from a lot of those aspects,” he said.
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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