Nicholas Bonham, an art consultant and former Chairman and Managing Director of Bonhams auctioneers in London, one of the largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques in the world, is used to experiencing the ancient world of China only through antique pictures on porcelain.
But that world was truly brought to life by Shen Yun Performing Arts at the London Barbican on Saturday night.
“It’s just been the most spectacular and wonderful evening,” said Mr Bonham, after seeing the performance.
“I’ve seen so many paintings of Chinese paintings through the ages and decorations on porcelain—and things like this with the trees and the various costumes—and then actually to see that suddenly in real life was really quite a transformation,” he continued. “It was lovely.”
New York based Shen Yun Performing Arts seeks to revive the 5,000 years of China’s divine culture, primarily through its hallmark of classical Chinese dance.
“I’ve seen a lot of European ballet, which I love,” said Mr Bonham. “I’m not a great aficionado of ballet, but I’ve been to quite a few things. This is just totally different and just beautiful.”
He said that the performance was full of life and excitement. “Everyone just seems to be happy, and they seem so outgoing in their performances. That’s what vitality is all about. Everyone there was absolutely spectacular looking.”
Mr. Bonham was also very impressed with the animated backdrop—a special feature of the performance.
According to the company’s website: “Shen Yun’s digital-backdrop team creates vividly animated settings, extending the stage and transporting the audience to a world where heaven and earth are one.”
“The special effects—the graphics were absolutely superb and very amusing,” he said. “When I first saw the graphics with the people coming down and then suddenly appearing on stage, it was all very clever.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Simon Veazey
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