Newspaper Director Says Shen Yun Amazing
Newspaper Director Says Shen Yun Amazing

SYDNEY—Ashok Kumar, director of Indian Sub-continent Times Newspaper, attended Shen Yun Performing Arts at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre on Feb 13.

“I used to read Chinese stories. Now I’m watching it in person … this performance was amazing. We couldn’t imagine that they could dance so well,” he said.

The IS Times is the first Indian Sub-continent ethnic newspaper in Sydney owned and published by a professional. Mr. Kumar is an accomplished journalist with over 28 years’ experience in various capacities in the profession.

Ashok Kumar attends Shen Yun Performing Arts at Sydney's Capitol Theatre, Feb. 13, 2015. (Anne Zhong/Epoch Times)
Ashok Kumar attends Shen Yun Performing Arts at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre, Feb. 13, 2015. (Anne Zhong/Epoch Times)

He has worked in some of the top national dailies of India including The Hindustan Times as a chief sub-editor and at the Fairfax Community Newspapers in Australia. He had a brief stint at the University of Western Sydney as a tutor in journalism.

“I had written about Shen Yun in my paper every year, but I’m watching it for the first time,” he enthused.

As a student in India, Mr. Kumar studied Chinese language and literature and history and geography. He feels Shen Yun is helping Australians understand Chinese culture.

“This is spreading the ancient culture, ancient Chinese culture among the Sydneysiders, among the Australians. Because they come to know what kind of culture China had. Because it’s 5,000 years of history. This kind of show brings China and Australia closer.”

A Family Affair

It was a family affair for Dean LaVigne, his wife Emily and mother Pam LaVigne on Friday Feb. 13 as they experienced the wonder of Shen Yun Performing Arts. All three were enchanted with the splendid display of brilliant colours of the costumes and the backdrop.

Dean LaVigne with his wife, Emily, and mother, Pam LaVigne, enjoy Shen Yun Performing Arts at Sydney's Capitol Theatre, Feb. 13, 2015. (Steve Xu/Epoch Times)
Dean LaVigne with his wife, Emily, and mother, Pam LaVigne, enjoy Shen Yun Performing Arts at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre, Feb. 13, 2015. (Steve Xu/Epoch Times)

Emily LaVigne, an architect with over ten years experience in the real estate development industry, has an expertise in design, she enthused about the design of the costumes and backdrop.

“I think the costume designs are beautiful, and the background design is quite beautiful too,” she said.

“It’s very interesting, there’s a good mixture of traditional and modern. Very beautifully choreographed.”

Shen Yun’s costume artists collect countless designs of traditional attire, ranging from those of emperors, ministers, and generals to the everyday clothing of the common people, according to the company’s website.

Dean LaVigne, a property developer with over fourteen years in the real estate development industry, began his career as an architect in Canada. “I like the dancing, and the colours.”

“Chinese dance is at the heart of what Shen Yun does. Known for its incredible flips and spins, and its gentle elegance, it is one of the most rigorous and expressive art forms in the world,” explains Shen Yun’s website.

Pam LaVigne, now retired, worked for the Canadian Government is visiting her family in Sydney. She was very impressed with Shen Yun.

“The dancing was fabulous, it was so colourful, and very uplifting! The women are beautiful, and their dresses are very colourful, and they’re very graceful. The background is very, very nice – the background, the way they’ve done it,” she said.

“The men, they’re so light, they are just so light on their feet. It’s amazing.”

“With state-of-the-art graphics technology, Shen Yun’s digital-backdrop team creates vividly animated settings, extending the stage and transporting the audience to a world where heaven and earth are one. The backdrops are magical windows to completely different realms,” says the website.

Dean agreed with this, “I like the interaction with the screen. It was well done.”

Reporting by Steve Xu and Christine Ford

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

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