WELLINGTON, New Zealand—Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company continued to stun audiences on its Oceania-leg of its 2013 world tour down-under. Following full houses in Brisbane, the world’s premiere of classical Chinese dance and music company, opened at the St. James Theatre on Feb. 5.
Marie Jarosch, a coach and a qigong teacher was brimming with joy after being immersed in the exhilarating presentation founded in New York in 2006.
“Oh, it’s just beautiful,” she said. “I think the colours and the grace of the show is just beautiful and I love the spiritual content of it and the words when the singer comes on, is just, just magnificent; I just love it.”
Ms. Jarosch said the qigong she teaches has gentle and soft movements and she is inspired to incorporate that into her classes.
“The show brings to me … the grace of movement and spiritual content of the flow of life, and to me it feels [like] an inspiration to take to my class. To just recognise that we’re all one of the larger universe and to have respect and flow and the joy of that which we do.”
Charged with reviving ancient China’s 5,000 year traditional culture, according to Shen Yun website, a performance by Shen Yun is a presentation of traditional Chinese culture as it once was: a study in grace, wisdom, and the virtues distilled from the five millennia of Chinese civilization.
“It makes me feel really connected in my heart. I have great warmth for the ancient Chinese culture and that’s why I was drawn towards learning and teaching qigong and I feel that the warmth and connection is something that I bring to all people and so hopefully I’ll share that with others in the class,” Ms. Jarosch said. “I just have that sense of oneness and compassion and love and joy and beauty and grace, and hopefully I can bring a part of that.
She said the radiant colours and the graceful movements are imprinted in her mind and heart.
And if people should want to evolve into better human beings, she would suggest they go and see Shen Yun.
“Just go with an open mind and open heart and enjoy that because I feel that would help to bring more grace into your life.”
Judyne Howell, human resources manager, who also attended the Tuesday evening performance, would entirely agree.
“Awesome, you’ve got to see it,” she said. “It’s been awesome, absolutely love all of the colours, love all of the movements and all of the backdrops, the way they come out of the backdrop—it’s incredible.”
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 website. Soaking up profound wisdom from every era and dynasty, it has become a complete system of dance embodying traditional aesthetic principles with its unique dance movements, rhythms, and inner meaning.Ms. Howell was particularly struck by the hundreds of gorgeous, hand-made garments span China’s dynasties, regions, and ethnic groups, says the website.
“The colours, the colours of the costumes and the backdrops, it’s all beautiful,” she said.
And she was “absolutely” amazed by the classical Chinese dances. “It’s beautiful, it’s just beautiful.”
Reporting by Margo MacVicar and Raiatea Tahana-Rees
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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