WELLINGTON, New Zealand—“It’s fascinating,” said Professor David Deakins at the Shen Yun Performing Arts International Company’s opening performance at St James Theatre, on April 8.
Mr. Deakins has recently retired as a professor at Massey University and director of the Centre of SME Research (Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises).
“We’re really enjoying it,” he said.
“Fantastic! Very good!”
Shen Yun is based in up-state New York and according to their website “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.”
Along with classical Chinese dance Shen Yun incorporates folk and ethnic dance.
“I really like the way that there is a tremendous variety of different styles that come over in the dancers,” he said.
“It’s been a real insight into the different traditions, both in classical Chinese dancing as well as the ethnic dances as well. I’ve really enjoyed it.”
Through dance, song, and live orchestral music, the performance brings to life legends and heroes from China’s long and rich history.
Mr. Deakins feels that Shen Yun is “very educational.”
He said, “I’ve learnt a lot about the different cultures in China. I knew a little bit about some of the different dynasties.”
Mr. Deakins said the dances bring “the period to life.”
“Quite fascinating insights into that as well.”
He felt there was a message in Shen Yun for everyone and it could be understood by all cultures and in developing and developed countries.
“It gives us an insight into the way cultures have developed in China, how China has evolved. The length and history … 5,000 years of culture, which you don’t really appreciate. … You see news about China … but the traditions, I think, are very important and that we appreciate them,” he said.
Mr. Deakins felt Shen Yun is playing an important role in “maintaining the tradition of culture and the traditional dances, particularly the classical Chinese dances.”
He said, “The techniques, the particular dancing techniques and movements, which are required as well as the choreography, which is brilliant to be able to see that in today’s world.”
“It’s not just a beautiful show with beautiful dances, but it also gives you an insight into the culture and the way the cultures have developed, and different experiences which you won’t get in other situations or in other performances.”
Mr. Deakins said he “really appreciates the work that has gone into the program.”
An important component of classical Chinese dance is its attention to a dancer’s inner spirit and his or her ability to convey deep emotional expressions.
He felt many many hours of training were needed to produce a performance of this quality.
“We really appreciate that.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Leigh Smith
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit Shen Yun Performing Arts.
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.