WELLINGTON, New Zealand—Shen Yun Performing Arts gave David Coleman, a contractor to the New Zealand Department of Defence, what he called a new perspective on Chinese culture when he saw it at Wellington’s St James Theatre, on 5 Jan.
The Shen Yun Touring Company showcased 5000 years of traditional Chinese culture. Mr. Coleman said he’d describe it in one word: “Phenomenal.”
Through watching the dances, he said he learned about the persecution [of Falun Dafa practitioners] in China and how mainland Chinese were unable to see the authentic traditional Chinese culture through performances such as that of New York-based Shen Yun. “Part of me feels sad for the Chinese people not being able to see their own traditions,” he said. The whole show impressed him, so that he could not single out any one component as the most impressive part, he said.
Shen Yun is reviving the ancient Chinese culture through story-based Chinese classical dance, with folk and ethnic dances, and an orchestra that combines a Western philharmonic orchestra with traditional Chinese instruments.
“The music was very good and it was interesting to see the different, if you like, cultures within that orchestra,” said Mr. Coleman.
The dancers and their colourful costumes were one of many high points, in his opinion.
“For the fairies when they spun, it was that blue against the orange as they came across the stage.”
He was speaking of the dance, Phoenix Fairies, where the shimmering skirts of maidens “echo the endless depths of a star-speckled sky” according to the Shen Yun programme booklet.
The backdrops, like the Shen Yun Orchestra, also form a bridge between modern technology and the artistic beauty of ancient Chinese culture.
“The backdrop was a classic … with the people coming and they dropped down and [then] came up onto the stage. That was really well done, said Mr. Coleman.
“It was just a really good, well done performance,” he said.
Reporting Lily Zang and Diane Cordemans.
After Wellington’s Feb. 6 performance Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company will open on Feb. 8 and 9 at the Civic Theatre, Auckland.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
The Epoch Times publishes in 35 countries and in 21 languages. Subscribe to our e-newsletter.