AUCKLAND, New Zealand—Gateway to the rest of New Zealand, Auckland is built on an isthmus, and so almost completely circled by coastal waters. One of Auckland’s most well known features, though, is the Sky Tower, which is the tallest free standing building in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s the place most visitors head to for a magnificent view of Auckland and its harbours.
In contrast is Auckland’s iconic Civic Theatre, originally built as an ‘atmospheric’ picture house. The inside of the theatre is an interesting blend of domed ceilings, buddhas and large twisted columns whose concept draws from Indian architecture
Tonight the Civic Theatre opened its doors for Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company, the New York-based classical Chinese dance and music company which was showing for the sixth time in Auckland.
A leaflet left in a lawyer’s office was the catalyst for John Delugar and his wife Anthea to head into central Auckland, for the Friday’s, 8 February, Shen Yun performance.
“Very graceful. I liked all the dances, I liked and costumes and the backdrops,” said Mr. Delugar.
Mrs. Delugar, a language teacher, enjoyed the cultural aspects of the performance and the variety of dances from the many different regions of China.
She found the Mongolian Bowl Dance and Tibetan dance, Dancing for the Gods, absolutely delightful.
While classical Chinese dance forms the base of Shen Yun’s repertoire, folk and ethnic dances are also an important aspect of the production. Shen Yun is reviving the 5,000 year traditional Chinese culture which was nearly lost over the past 60 years.
Mrs. Delugar was very impressed by the grace of the dancers. “They were so light on their toes,” she said. She found the costumes ‘magnificent’ and noted the flowing movement of the long sleeves that were part of several dances.
“I loved the music,” she said and was very impressed to discover that Shen Yun had been accompanied by their very own full orchestra.
Mrs. Delugar would describe Shen Yun to her friends as a performance that inspires a “lovely feeling of peace and happiness and love.”
Choreographer and dancer, Lynette Perry adored her evening at the Civic Theatre. “I was quite mesmerised by the formation. I loved the formation,” she said.
I think everybody’s going to take something out of it for their own spirituality.
— Lynette Perry, choreographer and dancer
The dancers’ costumes are meticulously sewn by hand and are the result of artistic inspiration where harmonic balance and contrast are stressed, according to Shen Yun’s website.
“Awesome colours and lovely use of the costumes, the sleeves, the skirts,” said Ms. Perry
The elegance of the production and the very creative choreography were also praised.
Ms. Perry was in no doubt as to what message Shen Yun’s dancers and musicians were imparting to the audience.
“It’s a very spiritual performance. I think everybody’s going to take something out of it for their own spirituality. For me it was quite clear anyway. I think they have a wonderful mission. They’re on a wonderful mission,” she said.
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