BRISBANE, Australia—Ballet veteran William Boody just knew there is something special about Shen Yun Performing Arts.
“I wanted to see it in my life,” said Mr. Boody, who is 73.
“I’ve never seen a production like it in my life,” he said of Shen Yun, which performed at QPAC’s Lyric Theatre on Friday evening.
Before retiring from dance, Mr. Boody performed with a number of major Australian dance companies including the Borovansky Ballet Company which laid the grounds for the Australian Ballet, and also worked for J.C. Williamson.
Donning traditional Chinese clothing, Mr. Boody praised the skills of the dancers and the choreography of the dances.
“Skills of dancers [is] absolutely magnificent … absolutely dedicated and trained perfection,” he said, adding that the choreographers have done a superb job to bring out the best out of the dancers.
Based in New York, Shen Yun presents classical Chinese dance and music.
Classical Chinese dance, known for its incredible flips and spins and gentle elegance, is one of the most rigorous and expressive art forms in the world, according to the Shen Yun website.
“Classical Chinese dance has a long history of thousands of years, passed down continuously within the imperial palace and ancient Chinese theater and opera,” says the Shen Yun website.
“Through expression of bearing and form, beautiful [classical Chinese] dance movements bring out the inner meaning of intrinsic thoughts and feelings, reflecting the peculiarities of human nature, the standard for human conduct, moral concepts, mental state, one’s value system, and so on.”
I wanted to see it in my life.
— Former Dancer William Boody
Shen Yun has made it its mission to revive China’s 5,000 years of divinely inspired culture through the universal language of music and dance.
For Mr. Boody, the many unique elements in the Shen Yun performance all worked together to present the audiences with a most unique, mesmerizing experience.
“The whole production of this [is] magnificent…it was absolutely unbelievable to see,” Mr. Boody said.
“Not only that the story told, the costumes were fantastic; not only that, the technology of what they showed you on the stage—which I’ve never seen before in my life—when they show you this wonderful picture, and someone just jumps out to it, in split seconds and they’re on stage.”
Shen Yun features hundreds of colourful, hand-made costumes that create a feast for the eyes on stage. The performance company also features a projected state-of-the art animated backdrop that sets the scene behind the dancers and allows for magical interaction between the dancers and the stunning scenes depicted on the screen.
The dances themselves, besides the ones that show the folk and ethnic dances of different regions within China, are story-based, portraying China’s cherished stories of past and present.
To top it all, the dance company features an orchestra accompanying the dancers on the stage. The Shen Yun Orchestra starts with a full orchestra of Western instruments, and is augmented by ancient Chinese instruments, producing a refreshing sound.
“The orchestra was absolutely brilliant,” said Mr. Boody.
“Every little piece of sound that came out of that, to hit that note for those dancers, to come in on the performance and on timing, absolutely unbelievable!”
Regardless of what one’s background or what one does in life, Mr. Boody said, Shen Yun can be enjoyed by all.
“Everyone should come to see a production like this, to see the magnificent performance.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Emma-Kate Stampton.
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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