SYDNEY—Toni Thomas was treated to a special birthday gift on Feb. 8 at the Capitol Theatre where she attended the Shen Yun Performing Arts performance with her partner Brian Cable. They were both enthralled by the performance.
“Excellent! The best! The best birthday gift,” said Ms. Thomas who is a travel agency consultant with a background in ballroom and Latin dancing.
“I love it. It’s beautiful. The dancers are amazing. The agility, the gracefulness—beautiful,” she said.
Brian Cable, economist agreed saying, “The synchronisation, costumes, everything about the show. We love the seamless way that they integrate the back filming. We’ve never seen anything as magnificent. Really, really pleased we came to see it.”
Shen Yun is known for its use of high tech digital backdrops which provides striking scenery that extends the stage and at times interacts with the dancers, bringing the audience into the story and serving to enhance the storytelling.
Ms. Thomas was totally in awe of the piece, Sleeves Of Grace where the serene young dances with dainty steps, sleeves trailing through the air in ethereal patterns.
“The beautiful sleeves, it’s like the sleeves are talking, and their beautiful hand movements. They’re telling a story, it’s amazing! Amazing!” she said.
“Fluidity! Something almost like fluid, water and air. It’s just moving. This is beautiful, absolutely beautiful. Excellent!
What also struck both Mr. Cable and Ms. Thomas was the uniformity and synchronicity of all the dancers.
“Everything is perfect. … Choreography is spectacular,” Ms. Thomas said.
Mr. Cable added, “The choreography is beautiful. The way that they perform all the beautiful shapes on stage, is stunning. I think it’s really lovely, very beautiful.”
He thought the male dancers were stunning.
“Very strong, very powerful. They are really projecting the story very well—we are getting all of that.”
Another wow factor for them both was the orchestra, especially the combination of the Western and Chinese instruments giving a unique harmonious sound.
“Ancient Chinese instruments such as the soul-stirring erhu and the delicate pipa lead the melody on top of a full orchestra of Western strings, percussion, woodwinds, and brass,” according to Shen Yun’s website.
‘Culturally very rich’
Ross Mackay, dental surgeon who attended the performance with his wife Rita was taken with the beauty, traditions and richness of the cultures displayed in the Shen Yun performance.
“I absolutely loved it. I think it was beautifully done.” Mr. Mackay said.
“All of it was impressive. I just love the whole beautiful spectacular of it, all the colours and the way they dance, the movements, just fantastic. Very good. Beautifully choreographed.”
Mr. Mackay felt it was important for everyone in the world to see Shen Yun with its richness in China’s traditions and culture. He felt this would improve the people’s understanding and tolerance of each other.
“Tolerance comes from understanding traditions and where things come from and how beautiful a lot of it is, also the importance of the underlying beliefs and religions of that tradition,” he said.
“All the tradition, like the Mongolian, the Tibetan, the Han Chinese, all of it is presented very well. I think it’s important that everyone in the world sees that.”
He said, “I think the underlining message is also very good.”
‘These stories also bring out faith in the divine and the Mandate of Heaven, reflecting the essence of traditional Chinese culture,” says Shen Yun website.
Ms. Mackay said that most of the performance touched her heart and she would definitely be back next year.
“I think it was wonderful, it’s beautiful, it’s caring, it’s flowing, it’s beautiful, love it!” she said.
Mr. Mackay is the lead dentist and owner or Natural Dentistry, he has written articles for medical journals and health magazines.
Artist Enjoys Color of Shen Yun
Randal Sinnamon, an artist specialising in painting and sculpture enjoyed the color of Shen Yun.
As an artist, he was particularly drawn to the dance The Fable Of The Magic Brush where a young man with a pure heart paints and his pictures come to life.
“I enjoyed the stories and the dance, and the colours. It was spectacular,” he said. “I liked the way that they used their clothing in rhythm.”
‘Just beautiful to watch’
Ange Ledi, sales and marketing manager for a medical company, and his wife Tina Ledi brought their two boys to see the performance.
Mr. Ledi felt all children would benefit from seeing Shen Yun. “It’s important that they understand and nurture and appreciate other cultures,” he said.
“It was a great spectacle, very vibrant. A good story about the history [of China].”
New York-based Shen Yun revives the divinely inspired Chinese culture through the universal languages of music and dance. The culture was nearly lost under 60-some years of atheist communist rule.
Mrs. Ledi was equally impressed with the performance, “It was beautiful, it was very graceful, very dainty. Just beautiful to watch,” she said.
Mr. and Mrs. Ledi truly enjoyed the live orchestra, particularly the combination of the Eastern and Western melodies and instruments.
According to the company’s website, “Shen Yun’s one-of-a-kind orchestra, with its all-original compositions, blends East and West like no other … The result—two great classical music traditions producing one fresh, unexpected sound.”
Reporting by Steve Xu, Mary Yuan and Margo MacVicar
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.
Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reaction since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006