BRISBANE, Australia—“It was really beautiful, so graceful, really visually stimulating,” said Courtney Stewart, a theatre actress, after seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts’ matinee performance at the Lyric Theatre on Saturday, Feb. 2, with her sister Amy.
Shen Yun is the world’s premier Chinese classical dance company, showcasing dances passed down through the imperial court, and includes ethnic and folk dance with many dancers onstage at one time, according to the company’s website.
Courtney was particularly impressed by the calibre of all the performers, how each one exhibited the skill level of a principal dancer, and how they worked together to create a single form of pure perfection.
“I thought the performers were really invested in what they were doing, every movement counted, they were really virtuosic. So there was not anyone who stood out as being not as good as anyone else. It was complete uniformity, which was wonderful to see,” she said.
“Spatial awareness of the other performers is really important, there were no crashes, there were no mistakes–no one made any mistakes that I saw, which is rare in any performance.”
“I think as a performer, you should strive to be the best you can. All of the performers in Shen Yun dance company do that. Everyone is operating as the best as they can. They are like super heroes.”
Courtney was also fascinated by how the dancers used their intricately embroidered, handmade costumes to enhance the performance. “The costumes, the movement, the way the movement made the clothes move was really beautiful, and the music was wonderful.”
Amy Stewart, a radio journalist, was also very impressed. “The ability of the dancers to move as a uniform one thing; they looked together, it wasn’t haphazard or out of time. It was really fluid and really beautiful,” she said. “Through the movement you could understand the story that was happening.”
Shen Yun uses digitally animated backdrops that interact with the dancers, adding an extra dimension and theatrical effects.
Amy said, “I really liked the background thing and people were flying down and suddenly they would pop up on the stage, that was something I have never seen before, magical–really, really good.”
She felt that Shen Yun was a complete theatrical performance combining many aspects of traditional Chinese culture.
“It wasn’t just the dancing, it was the singing as well, the music, it all gave you a real taste of Chinese culture. We are half Chinese and I have never seen things like that before in my life, and it was really interesting, beautiful and really captivating.” She said. “It makes me want to understand more about my heritage.”
Courtney encourages everyone to experience the magic of Shen Yun, saying, “It’s something not to be missed, it’s something completely unique combining audio visual and singing and dancing. I’ve seen a lot of shows and I’ve seen nothing like this before, so go and see it—definitely.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Leigh Smith.
Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, tours the world on a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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