AUCKLAND, New Zealand—Brad Gates, who runs an air conditioning business, attended Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Aotea Centre’s ASB Theatre on Friday April 11.
Mr. Gates said he was immediately struck by the colour of the costumes and choreography.
“It was just fun, it was very colourful, very bright, fantastic choreography, great dancing,” he said.
Shen Yun, with classical Chinese dance at its heart, uses the performing arts to revive China’s traditional culture.
Throughout the centuries monastic life was common as Shen Yun’s website explains,” Principles such as benevolence and justice, propriety and wisdom, respect for the heavens, and divine retribution; originating from Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism, these ideals are the essence of traditional Chinese culture.”
Mr. Gates really liked a dance called When Play Turns to Panic.
He said, “I love the humour, some of the humour was really good.”
Prior to seeing the show he said he did not know much about the Chinese culture and he felt he learned a lot.
Mr. Gates said his mother was fascinated with the scenery in the backdrops to the show.
A special feature of Shen Yun productions is the digital backdrops.
The website explains the thinking behind such beautiful scenes.
“You are surrounded by the beauty of richly ornamented buildings, exquisite flowers, and rare trees. You find yourself at peace with nature, and it is no coincidence that the garden is arranged according to the ancient theory that people and the natural world must be in harmony.”
Shen Yun’s colours reflect this.
Mr. Gates said, “it is good to see. My mother, she was sitting there, and the scenery in the background is so pretty.”
Mr Gates talked about the dance known as The Steadfast Lotus. The Shen Yun programme introduces it by saying, “On a street in today’s China people are practicing Falun Dafa. This is the spiritual discipline also known as Falun Gong, whose practitioners have been persecuted for over a decade.”
Mr. Gates said he “already knew [about it] and it’s good that they can put that on the stage, on the world stage, because people need to be made aware of these sort of things.”
Shen Yun uses classical Chinese dance to illustrate this contemporary story.
Mr. Gates continued, “unfortunately, other governments just turned a blind eye to it and don’t care, so yes, it’s a good way to do it. I like that.”
“I think people want a bit of freedom, and I think that’s in everyday [life], everybody wants a bit of freedom in life.”
Summing up Mr. Gates felt overall it was a very enjoyable experience coming to Shen Yun.
“It was really interesting. It was fun, very different. Culturally, it’s good to go to different things. “
Reporting by Shelley Shao and Judy Shakespear
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.