SYDNEY, Australia—Shen Yun Performing Arts was a sight to behold when the audience’s eyes fell upon a heavenly scene of radiance—divine beings, fairies, gods and Buddhas—on a rainy opening night in Sydney.
Among the appreciative audience was retired airline pilot Terry Body, who was captivated as the dance scenes began to unfold on stage at the Sydney Theatre, April 15.
“It’s beautiful; absolutely beautiful—the men are so athletic and so synchronised. I notice even the synchronisation of the curtain … with the curtain coming down with the music, absolutely beautiful,” Mr. Body said.
“China was once known as the Divine Land, its glorious culture said to have been brought down from the heavens,” the program book says. “But under the last 60 years of atheist communist rule, this divinely inspired culture has been almost completely destroyed.
“In 2006, leading Chinese artists from around the world came together with a mission to revive authentic Chinese culture. They formed Shen Yun.”
Mr. Body said, “The girls are just splendid, they are so beautiful and the dancing is wonderful and the costumes … it’s perfect, just amazing—and its giving us an insight into Chinese culture. I’m thoroughly enjoying it, it’s wonderful.”
‘The singer, she was wonderful’
Former employees of UNESCO, who gave their names only as Mallard and Warren, were also amidst the audience enjoying every minute.
“The singer, the lady was wonderful. She was beautiful,” Mallard said.
“The primary trait that distinguishes the singers of Shen Yun is their use of bel canto technique to sing Chinese text,” the Shen Yun website says. “This means that the singer must, while continuing to meet the challenges inherent in bel canto technique, retain proper Chinese pronunciation and diction. Today, these singers’ ability to do this is unparalleled.”
“The men were very, very strong and confident. The women I thought … I loved the colour, the agility,” said Warren.
“Within classical Chinese dance lie China’s rich cultural traditions, which allow its movements to be deeply expressive, such that the personalities and feelings of characters can be portrayed with unparalleled clarity,” the program book says. “It is therefore capable of depicting scenes from any time period, whether ancient or modern, Eastern or Western, in a strikingly vivid way.”
‘The most serene moment for me’
Also enjoying the Shen Yun presentation was David Chamney who works in IT and education.
“I think the Mandarin ladies dance in the hall. ‘Manchurian Grace’ That was probably the most serene moment for me but I just thought it was a very beautiful story, the old stories being told in a very traditional way which is nice,” Mr. Chamney said.
According to the program book, “the majestic hall of a Qing Dynasty (1644–1911 C.E.) court is home to a group of Manchurian princesses. Gliding between the pillars with practiced ease, sporting regalia of elaborate headdresses and elevated “flower pot” shoes, their every step is the impeccable embodiment of grace. And yet, throughout, a playful spirit fills their hearts and the royal hall.”
‘Exhilarating to watch’
Cathy Strong who works as a public servant was also in the audience.
“The dancing and the story that’s being told, it is really exhilarating to watch the beautiful culture come out in the dance and songs. I’ve been really enjoying it. It’s a lovely experience to come and see and to understand Falun Dafa and so forth.”
So many people want to study and experience their own beliefs too, Ms. Strong said.
“It would be great if everyone understood that … as in Falun Dafa, they should have the right to be able to do that.”
‘Beautiful insight into Chinese culture’
Student of psychology, Jennifer Reed was delighted with her first experience of Chinese culture.
“It was absolutely wonderful, I’m very —I was very interested to see what it was going to be about, I didn’t know any thing about it, and it is a beautiful insight in to the Chinese traditional culture,” Ms. Reed said.
“I just admire the beauty and the grace of all the performers … how beautiful women can be expressing their artistry in such a charming way and I think the values that are expressed through that, something we don’t often see in modern society and I think to be able to preserve that and promote that to people. is a really wonderful thing.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Raiatea Tahana-Reese
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.