SYDNEY—University student, Amanda Lee, took her mother to the matinee show at the Capitol Theatre to see Shen Yun Performing Arts on Feb. 12.
New York-based Shen Yun’s mission is to revive five millennia of traditional Chinese culture through dance and music.
Ms. Lee is currently studying languages, majoring in English, and her minor study is in Chinese. She also has a definite interest in Chinese history and culture.
Ms. Lee was expecting to see a standard showcase of drama and dance, but was pleasantly surprised. She discovered a deeper meaning within the dancing and music.
“I was really interested. I thought it was going to be mostly just dramatic arts and acrobatics, and costuming, that sort of thing. But it’s much more than that. It’s got more culture than I expected,” she said.
Ms. Lee explained how Shen Yun brings to life what she has been learning about from textbooks.
“It’s like in little segments and you get the history of China sort of dramatised in front of you, and it’s really fun and entertaining.
“Because when I learn about China in Uni, it’s just textbook work—very black and white on the page. And then you get to see it in front of you,” she said.
Shen Yun uses full-size digital backdrops, which add another dimension to the stage. The backdrop is animated, giving the audience a sense that the performances are in real-life locations, like perhaps the Himalayas or a flowery meadow.
“It’s half like a movie and half like theatre work. You’ve got the digital screens on the back. It’s really dynamic, I really liked it,” Ms. Lee said.
Ms. Lee commented on how much the Chinese New Year celebrations were advertised on poster boards around the city this year, and that a lot of non-Chinese people were also enjoying the celebrations.
“I think [Shen Yun] is a really good way to introduce yourself to the Chinese culture, whether it be the dragon dancing or even just listening to the music, which is like a fusion of Western and Chinese instruments. Yes, they should come and have a look,” she concluded.
Reporting by NTD Television and Chani Blue.
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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