GOLD COAST, Australia—“Unbelievable!” said Helayne Morrow, former professional ballet dancer, after watching Shen Yun Performing Arts at The Arts Centre Gold Coast, on April 26.
“Your body tells you when it’s good, you get goosebumps, you get the feeling when it’s right … so I loved it. They were fantastic,” she said.
Currently an employment advisor, Ms. Morrow was a classical ballet dancer and teacher for 17 years with companies such as the Buzz Dance Theatre Company, and Roxbury Dance Theatre Company. She said, “I trained full time, it was my passion, it was my life.”
Shen Yun is based in upstate New York and has classical Chinese dance at its heart. Ms. Morrow was enchanted from the first curtain rising to the end.
“As soon as the curtain rises, the colours, you can hear gasps in the audience … Oh, and the long, the sleeves on a lot of the costumes, the way they flow … just beautiful,” she said.
The Shen Yun website explains, “Through the universal language of music and dance, Shen Yun weaves a wondrous tapestry of heavenly realms, ancient legends, and modern heroic tales, taking you on a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese culture. Its stunning beauty and tremendous energy leave audiences uplifted and inspired.”
Ms. Morrow enjoyed being taken through this cultural experience.
“They do it very well. The difference between the contemporary side of the classical Chinese dance and the going back in history to the different dynasties, beautiful. They clearly showed the different travels in time.”
China is often referred to as the land of the divine. As the Shen Yun website states, “Sophisticated dance techniques, an orchestra joining instruments from both the East and West, beautiful costumes, and a stunning back drop—this is Shen Yun at first glance. But digging deeper, one discovers a sea of traditional Chinese culture. Mortals and divine beings merge on stage as one. Principles such as benevolence and justice, propriety and wisdom, respect for the heavens, and divine retribution, all come to life, washing over the audience.”
Ms. Morrow felt the spirituality and the performance were intertwined.
“We can learn so much, no matter whether you have religion or you don’t have religion, you can learn so much from people’s cultures, their backgrounds, and you can’t just write off a belief system. I think it’s wonderful to be open to all different religions and belief systems as well.”
One of the unique features of Shen Yun is the state-of-the-art graphics technology, which Ms. Morrow appreciated.
“That was so cleverly done, from the dancers on the screen, the images on the screen, and then the dancers popping into present life. Just very, very clever, something that I personally haven’t seen before. The timing of it was exceptional. It really works.”
The Shen Yun Orchestra combines classical Western and traditional Chinese instruments, playing original scores. There are also vocal soloists, and Ms. Morrow felt this added to the overall experience.
“That is fantastic … to have live music … to have the sopranos and the tenors singing for us … gives us a different feel for the Chinese experience. It was beautiful,” she said.
“The timing, the costumes, the music, the screen behind, to bring to life the characters, the live music … unbelievable!”
She added, “It’s fantastic. They’re doing a brilliant job of bringing all the music and the dance together, and the visual effects as well.”
Ms. Morrow said she would encourage everyone to see Shen Yun, because it is “a valuable experience, whether you’re a dance expert or dance lover, it doesn’t matter. The visual, the sounds, everything, it’s got something for everybody.”
She was very grateful to the Shen Yun performers, “Thank you for sharing such a beautiful, beautiful form of dance. It made coming out tonight just a valuable and beautiful experience.”
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