AUCKLAND, New Zealand—Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company’s opening performance in Auckland drew a huge crowd to the historic Civic Theatre, which is situated right in the centre of the very vibrant and busy city.
Among the many theatregoers who enthusiastically attended the performance on Friday night, Feb. 8, was Colin Craig, leader of New Zealand’s Conservative Party.
“Fantastic,” said Mr. Craig, saying that the highlight for him were the “amazing costumes,” and “beautiful colors.”
Explaining that he enjoyed the whole performance, “brilliantly done,” he said. He loved the idea of producing a repertoire of dances, each one being quite different from the next. “Visually it is very spectacular and unique,” he added.
Shen Yun’s cast showcases classical Chinese dance, interspersed with a variety of folk and ethnic dances. The company’s mission is to revive the authentic Chinese culture.
One aspect of the dances is technique. Mr. Craig was impressed with the flips and many challenging tumbling movements that are part of classical Chinese dance.
Technical skill in classical Chinese dance refers to a series of highly difficult techniques, including jumping and leaping, turning, and flipping. These techniques serve to enhance bearing and form, the Shen Yun website states.
He also enjoyed the humorous episodes in several of the performances. When Shaolin Monks Protected the Emperor is a story-based dance which tell the legends of Buddhist monks who were caught eating a rabbit.
“You could see the audience laugh and I thought they were great,” said Mr. Craig.
Learning about Chinese culture opened a whole new world for the New Zealand official.
“It gave me an appreciation of Chinese dance that I didn’t have.”
The live orchestra of classical western instruments and classical eastern instruments was another highlight for Mr. Craig. “The music was brilliant; a little bit of mix of Chinese and Western was very clever. I think it‘s a great way to see some Chinese culture, [especially] the traditional dance side of things that you just wouldn’t see if this show didn’t exist.”
Mr. Craig explained how the performance showed the importance of appreciating and preserving culture. “Things that matter to people, the dance, the beliefs—those sorts of things are important.”
Shen Yun is something he felt his friends should see. “It [Shen Yun] is something special and you’ll be impressed. You’ll come away having seen some amazing dance and music and something really beautiful that you won’t forget,” was Mr. Craig’s, summing up of Shen Yun for his friends.
Reporting by NTD and Diane Cordemans.
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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