BRISBANE, Australia—Brisbane-based radio journalist Heidi Pozzan saw Shen Yun for the first time this year and said she absolutely loved it.
“It was so much fun,” Ms. Pozzan said, after the Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company’s matinee performance in Brisbane on Saturday, Feb. 2.
“All of the costumes were amazing—so vibrant and colorful and exciting. The long sleeves and the fashion was really exciting. It was really different. They use a lot of different props that I haven’t seen [before].”
New York-based Shen Yun’s stated mission is to revive 5,000 years of Chinese culture through classical Chinese dance, inspired by the region’s various ethnic groups, as well as pieces that depict ancient legends. Moving digital backdrops help bring the acts to life, and the performance also includes bel canto singing.
The Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company is one of three Shen Yun dance companies simultaneously touring the world, and is performing in Brisbane’s QPAC Lyric Theatre after sell-out performances in Los Angeles. Each tour company travels with a live orchestra, featuring classical Western and traditional Eastern instruments.
Ms. Pozzan said this was the first time she had been exposed to the depth of Chinese culture, as presented by Shen Yun, and she liked the way the performance spanned different parts of China to depict various cultures and styles of dance.
She mentioned the dance When Shaolin Monks Protected the Emperor, which tells a legend about these famed monks and their fighting skills.
“I think they’ve done it really well,” Ms. Pozzan said. “The moves they did were amazing.”
“I went from not knowing much about it [Chinese culture], and then seeing it, visually, is really exciting.”
Ms. Pozzan said she would recommend the show to her friends. “Definitely, everyone should see it. It’s really vibrant and colorful and exciting.”
‘I did not want it to end’
Another audience member was Helen Jackson, a clinical exercise psychologist, who loved the show so much that she didn’t want it to finish.
“There were so many things,” Ms. Jackson said. “The costumes were beautiful, the women were beautiful, they were graceful, the backdrop was magnificent, the scenery, the interaction. I have not said ‘wow’ so many times in a show before.”
“I brought my family today and they all said they would love to see it again. You are missing out if you have not seen it, you are missing out on something so beautiful.”
“I did not want it to end.”
Her friend Shelley Banks, a massage therapist and personal trainer, said she particularly liked the digital backdrops, which allow the characters to fly from the background onto the stage.
“It’s a show you need to see,” Ms. Banks said. “No matter how many times you go, it will always be different.”
Shen Yun says on its website that classical Chinese dance is one of the most rigorous and expressive art forms in the world, and “has a long history of thousands of years, passed down continuously within the imperial palace and ancient Chinese theatre and opera.”
The site adds: “Through expression of bearing and form, beautiful [classical Chinese] dance movements bring out the inner meaning of intrinsic thoughts and feelings, reflecting the peculiarities of human nature, the standard for human conduct, moral concepts, mental state, one’s value system, and so on.”
‘It could not have been better’
Also attending was Glenda Garrow, now retired after working as a registrar at a special school, who thought the show was “absolutely wonderful.”
“I could imagine myself being there in the show,” Ms. Garrow said.
“It was so exciting and unexpected. I didn’t know that was going to happen, so I was so surprised and happy.“
“Everything was beautiful. Everything. It could not have been better. It was excellent. Thank you.”
Reporting by NTD Television, Janita Kan and Ethan Yang.
Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, tours the world on a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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