WELLINGTON, New Zealand—Shen Yun Performing Arts concluded its two-day run at the St. James Theatre on Wednesday.
The New York-based classical Chinese dance and music company drew a large audience to its Wednesday matinee performance, including Wellingtonian Kate Marshall, a piano and flute teacher.
“I’ve done a lot of shows myself … [Shen Yun] is an extravaganza; that’s what it is,” said Ms. Marshall.
“I’m really impressed that they have brought their own orchestra,” she said, adding that the orchestral performance was “stunning.”
The Shen Yun Performing Arts Orchestra is unique in that it combines classical Western and traditional Chinese instruments, producing a one-of-a-kind sound.
Ms. Marshall said it’s a rare experience to be able to listen to Eastern instruments in New Zealand.
“The level of the skill of the players was fantastic,” she said.
The music teacher advised anyone involved in a show to come and see the discipline displayed by the Shen Yun performers and the way they structured themselves on the stage.
“It’s just unbelievable and they do it every single time,” she said.
Every dancer stood out as an individual–with individual smiles, Ms. Marshall added.
“It’s just outstanding.”
At the core of Shen Yun is classical Chinese dance, a comprehensive dance system that is millennia old, as well as ethnic and folk dances. Shen Yun aims to revive 5,000 years of divinely-inspired Chinese culture that has been persecuted and co-opted by the Chinese communist regime, according to the Shen Yun website.
Ms. Marshall said she enjoyed the story-based dances presented by Shen Yun, and said that dancing was a beautiful way to convey those stories.
The stories in the dances range from ancient legends of the culture’s creation to modern day stories of courage and the persecution of the spiritual discipline Falun Dafa in today’s China.
Ms. Marshall said she had heard about Falun Dafa but was interested to see that the spiritual group’s story had been adapted into a story-based dance.
Such events should not be hidden, she said.
“In fact if that’s what’s going on, it needs to be spoken about.”
Shen Yun Performing Arts will be at Auckland’s Civic Centre for two performances from Feb. 8 to 9.
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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