Construction Project Manager: Fascinated by the Dynamics of Shen Yun Performance

April 17, 2012 Updated: September 29, 2015

CANBERRA, Australia—Mr. Christian Pietsch, a construction project manager who works for the Government, was fascinated by the dynamics of the performance given by Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Canberra Theatre on April 17.

New York-based Shen Yun is a classical Chinese dance and music company, with a mission to revive 5,000 years of traditional, divinely inspired Chinese culture, a culture that was all but destroyed by communist rule in China, according to the company’s website.

Mr. Pietsch said: “I’m actually fascinated by the dynamics of the whole show. How it’s actually presented.”

He enjoyed the two bilingual emcees who lead the audience from piece to piece, explaining Chinese culture and history.

“You get an analysis of what is actually happening so you can actually follow the whole script … and you can concentrate on what is actually being shown,” he said.

Joining Mr. Pietsch was Dr. Manuela Habicht, a solicitor and clinical and forensic psychologist.

Dr. Habicht said the performance was “great.”

She was impressed by the classical Chinese dance, which has a history of thousands of years, and incorporates the profound aspects from every era and dynasty of ancient China. It is a complete system of dance that embodies traditional principles, unique dance movements, and inner meaning.

Shen Yun not only focuses on stories about ancient battles, but also looks at contemporary China and the repression of faith, beliefs and human rights occurring there today.

Dr. Habicht was impressed with the pieces that demonstrated the courage and bravery of Falun Dafa practitioners who are faced with persecution in China.

“I particularly liked the piece about Falun Dafa; I’m very impressed with that … it’s just very inspiring,” she said.

“I think there’s very little awareness, probably, in the general population about the persecution of Falun Gong or Falun Dafa. I think there’s very little media coverage actually, about it.”

She also particularly enjoyed the dance Sleeves of Silk. According to the program, Classical Chinese dance uses what are known as “water sleeves” for some of its loveliest expressions. Acting as extensions of a dancer’s arms, these sleeves linger in the air long after a movement is finished.

“I like that very much,” she said.

Dr. Habicht also enjoyed the animated digital backdrops that are an integral part of the Shen Yun performance.

“The combination of the multimedia when you see, for example, the warriors coming down from the mountain and all of the sudden they appear on stage, it’s very well done,” she said.

Mr. Pietsch said he particularly enjoyed the dances that depicted ancient legends that included celestial soldiers and warriors, such as the Qing Imperial Guards. The Manchurians are a northern ethnic group who founded China’s final dynasty, the Qing. As fighters, they were highly disciplined … embodying a spirit of strength, dignity, and refinement, according to the program booklet.

He said: “The warriors, were actually very presenting for me because the acts in itself were very dramatic and showing very dramatic movements, so I’m actually very fascinated by that.”

Reporting by Luke Hughes and Anna Stute.

Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world, with a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company will give one more performance at the Canberra Theatre on April 18 and then the company performs in Auckland and Wellington, New Zealand, April 20-24.

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