MELBOURNE, Australia—Shen Yun Performing Arts graced the stage at Melbourne’s majestic Regent Theatre, delighting the audience.
“This is an absolutely marvelous show,” said Chidambaram Srinivasan, commissioner of the Victorian Multicultural Commission, which provides independent advice to the Victorian Government. “The blend of technology and innate skills of the dancers in the classical traditions are awe-inspiring.”
After more than 60 years of communist rule in China that nearly destroyed the 5,000 year-old, divinely-inspired Chinese culture, Shen Yun was formed in New York in 2006 to revive it, according to the company’s website.
“Classical Chinese dance is at the heart of the performance, along with brilliant costumes, breathtaking projection, and an orchestra that combines both classical Western and Chinese instruments,” explains the website. “In a collection of short pieces, audiences travel from the Himalayas to tropical lake-filled regions; from the legends of the culture’s creation over 5,000 years ago through to the story of Falun Dafa in China today; from the highest heavens down to the dusty plateaus of the Middle Kingdom.”
“I think they transport you to a different level of enjoyment,” said Mr. Srinivasan. “That is what it does when you have a group of dancers performing at such high levels of competence.”
Mr. Srinivasan and his wife Indira have a daughter who teaches Indian dance at UCLA. They enjoy all kinds of dance, but it must be of good quality, such as the last dance stood out for them both, Before Disaster, the Divine is Rescuing.
Mr. Srinivasan also noted the digital backdrops, which utilize state-of-the-art technology. “They were wonderful, they really were,” he said. “Took my breath away.”
“The backdrops are magical windows to completely different realms. From vast open grasslands in one dance to the stately elegance of Tang Dynasty pavilions in another; from dusty yellow battlegrounds to tropical beaches to Himalayan peaks to picturesque scenery of the Yellow River Delta—the digital projection infinitely expands and transforms the stage,” expounds Shen Yun’s website. “Inspired by 5,000 years of history, these spectacular landscapes truly reflect China’s multifaceted geography, society, regions, and dynasties. Some scenes even transcend this world, entering a heavenly palace were fairies dance amidst mystical clouds or peering into the solemn majesty of a Buddhist paradise.”
Some advice to those who have not seen Shen Yun was imparted by Mr. Srinivasan. “Don’t miss it! I think it’s a wonderful performance. We are very fortunate to be able to see this today.”
‘This is very beautiful’
Also in the audience on Wednesday evening was Marion Lau, a highly-regarded women’s advocate. She has been awarded an Order of Australia medal for services to older Australians and the Chinese community, and was inducted to the Victorian Honour Roll of Women.
“This is very beautiful,” said Ms. Lau, who especially enjoyed the melding of technology with live performers. ” I’m very impressed,” she said. “It was amazing.”
“I will tell my friends that it is worth coming to see,” said Ms. Lau, who has seen Shen Yun before. “And also with someone narrating and explaining what the scene is all about, so those who do not understand the language or do not understand the history behind Chinese culture, they will appreciate it more. I will tell them that they must come and see it.”
Reporting by Julia Huang and Zachary Stieber
Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, tours the world on a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company will perform in Melbourne, Australia from April 11 to April 15.
For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.