CANBERRA, Australia—Shen Yun Performing Arts played to a very enthusiastic audience at the Canberra Theatre on Saturday, Feb. 16.
“I think it’s excellent, I particularly enjoyed the music,” said Samantha Barfield, a geologist who has an appreciation for all forms of music. Ms. Barfield has been taking classical voice lessons for some time and has started learning the piano.
Shen Yun is often referred to as the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music company. Based in New York, it has three equally sized companies, including a live orchestra, which tour the world simultaneously. The orchestra is a unique feature of Shen Yun, combining classical Western and traditional Eastern instruments, playing original scores to blend beautifully and enhance each performance.
“I think the orchestra played extremely well to complement the dancers,” Ms. Bartfield said. “I think that’s an excellent touch to the performance this evening.”
Shen Yun brings myths, legends and contemporary stories to the stage, and includes ethnic dances from many regions spanning 5,000 years. There are also vocal soloists accompanied by the piano.
When asked about the two sopranos, Min Jiang singing “Heavenly Secret” and Guezel Guijiali Zakir singing “Returning to Heaven is the Other Shore,” Ms. Bartfield said, “I think they are both spectacular they are excellent singers … I think they both resonate extremely well, beautiful projection.” She also said that the accompanying pianist was “excellent.”
Many audience members are amazed by the brilliantly colored, delicate fabrics with ornate embroidery and beading. “I think the costumes are excellent, beautifully colored,” Ms. Bartfield said.
Ms. Bartfield was accompanied to Shen Yun by her aunt Josephine who works in the public service. Josephine was particularly impressed by the costumes and the way the dancers used them as an extension of their dancing.
“I loved the way the costumes moved, I found it very hypnotising, very relaxing,” Josephine said.
“I am finding it very intriguing, because the movement is actually making me relax. I’m finding there is a serenity in the movement … there is very much an energy.”
‘Absolutely amazing, it blew me away’
Mary Matthews, who works as a professional gardener, was having a very special weekend away with her daughter who bought her Shen Yun ticket as a Christmas present. Ms. Matthews lives in Sydney, three hours’ drive from Canberra.
“Absolutely amazing, it blew me away,” said Ms. Matthews. “The first scene, you know the color and the effects were just amazing and I am really thrilled to be here.”
As a gardener, Ms. Matthews has a great appreciation for nature. Shen Yun uses state-of-the-art animated digital backdrops, bringing breathtaking scenes and heavenly realms to life onstage.
“Amazing, I’m trying to work out how they do that flying away bit, that’s pretty amazing,” Ms. Mathews said.
She thought the music was “beautiful,” adding “it is wonderful to have a live orchestra.”
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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