WELLINGTON, New Zealand—New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts premiered in New Zealand at the St. James Theatre, Wellington, on Feb. 5. Anna and Sylvian Filliol, who own an import export business, were among the audience.
“I thought the costumes were absolutely amazing, very beautiful,” said Mrs. Filliol when interviewed during the interval.
According to the Shen Yun website, every costume is presented with brilliant colours, displaying a splendid spectacle-from the Tang Dynasty’s ”Raiment of Rainbows and Feathers” to imperial dragon robes, phoenix coronets, and cloud capes.
Although Mr. and Mrs. Filliol were very familiar with Western dance they had little experience of Chinese classical dance.
“It was very interesting to learn about the dance techniques,” Mrs Filliol. “It was quite informative as well.”
Mr. Filliol said, “I think it was very interesting to see all … the leaps and the synchronizing and the movements and the dresses and the twirling cloth. Very nice to see, something different.”
Mrs. Filliol said that the costumes and the props were more than just a visual pleasure. They added an extra dimension to the performance.
“The spinning material! Visually you get caught up with the visuals of the flowing movement of the material,” she said. “I liked the Tibetan dance of the gods [Dancing for the Gods].”
In Dancing for the Gods, the dancers’ crisp footwork and waving sleeves showcase the energy, power, and grace of traditional Tibetan dance, expressing a spirited beauty in the face of adversity, according to the programme.
“Amazing costumes, amazing colours and costumes, that’s what really stood out for me,” said Mrs. Filliol.
“I thought they were very well synchronized,” Mrs. Filliol said. “Beautiful, beautiful to watch … and very good technically.”
Shen Yun tours with an orchestra of classical Western instruments and traditional Eastern instrument playing original scores.
“It was outstanding to have the live orchestra,” Mr Filliol said. “I think that was a really good effort and that was a really good blend of Eastern and Western instruments. It was really good.”
The state of-the-art, digitally animated backdrop is unique for many. Mr. Filliol felt it was good to incorporate twenty-first century technology into the performance.
“Plenty of colour, plenty of music, plenty of movement. I enjoyed seeing it.”
Reporting by Margo MacVicar and Leigh Smith.
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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