SYDNEY—Human rights activist Bob Vinnicombe supports Shen Yun Performing Arts, the premier classical Chinese dance and music company with a mission to reawaken China’s true cultural heritage.
“I like the show, but I also support the struggle for human rights in China,” Mr. Vinnicombe said. “This show demonstrates the real China, the traditional Chinese culture—that was based on heritage and tradition, compassion and truth.
“It’s very important that people appreciate the real culture that the communists have destroyed. I partly come here to support Falun Gong and [help highlight] the persecution.”
Based in New York, Shen Yun was formed in 2006 with a mission to revive China’s divinely-inspired cultural heritage, almost destroyed under 60 years of communist rule.
Mr. Vinnicombe said about six years ago he rang the Epoch Times newspaper office to ask for Jennifer Zeng to speak at a One Nation meeting, the political party he advocates, representing Blaxland, NSW.
“That’s where I met Jennifer,” he said.
Ms. Zeng, who was given asylum in Australia, was a prisoner in a Chinese labour camp for defending her belief in Falun Gong, the Epoch Times reported. She recently made an award-winning film, Free China, with Charles Li, also a victim of the Chinese regime’s persecution against Falun Gong.
Mr. Vinnicombe believes Australia should not enter into any trade agreements with China until China liberates prisoners of conscience, such as Falun Gong practitioners, Christians and Tibetans.
“On stage, Shen Yun performances bring back traditional values that have sustained and created cultural expression for so many generations,” according to the Shen Yun website. “The mere representation of this lost heritage and its virtues immediately, by way of contrast, unmasks the Party and its ideology of struggle.”
“This is why the Communist Party fears Shen Yun, and why this kind of performance cannot be seen in China today.”
Mr. Vinnicombe said the 2014 Shen Yun World Tour was unlike previous years.
“It’s always different. But this is even more colourful, I think. It gets more interesting with those backdrops. It’s amazing what they do there; the one with the dragon, it’s really good what they do there, and all that water was fantastic, wasn’t it?”
In the story dance Ne zha Churns the Sea, an idyllic seaside village meets with near disaster when the evil Dragon King terrorises its residents, according to the program book. Fun-loving and mischievous, the young demi-god Ne Zha causes shockwaves in the Dragon King’s underwater palace. A battle ensues leading to a showdown with the Dragon King himself. Ne Zha overpowers the beast and frees the village from danger.
He also enjoyed the dance Machurian Grace.
The program book says, “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.”
Mr. Vinnicombe said he would urge others to come and see Shen Yun perform.
“Everyone would enjoy this performance, just because it’s so good. Politics aside, everyone would enjoy this performance. It would be different from everything else they’ve ever seen.”
He attends Shen Yun every year, he explains, “I think I have seen every performance [since 2007] that’s been on in Sydney.”
Reporting by NTD Television, Sunny 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.