MELBOURNE, Australia —New York based Shen Yun Performing Arts opened, on April 11, at the Regent Theatre in Melbourne, the world’s most liveable city, and the Art’s Capital of Australia.
Dianne Harris, boutique owner and fine artist, was amongst the audience who experienced snippets of the five millennia of Chinese history played out on stage though music, song and dance.
“It moved me, it was very beautiful to look at,” Ms. Harris said. “The artistry was beautiful. It was precious.”
Shen Yun portrays ancient legends and tales “that span from the Yellow Emperor and through the Tang and Song dynasties and all the way to the modern day,” explains the company’s website. “In less than ten minutes, Shen Yun dances recount ancient myths, bygone heroes, or celestial paradises. Whether set in the past or in contemporary China, every dance embodies traditional Chinese values.”
The stories, for Ms. Harris, were a surprising treat, and something unexpected.
“It told stories that you could totally understand from an ancient time that we’ve never really experienced before, so it was fresh and interesting,” she said.
Shen Yun uses animated backdrops which transport the audience to heavenly realms and across the vast land of China, “magical windows to completely different realms,” states Shen Yun’s website.
“I really liked the animation,” said Ms. Harris. “I think it was very clever not to have the sets moving in and out but to have that backdrop that interacted heaven and earth. And then the story coming into reality, and then going back to the gods. And it had a lot of humor too so I thought it was amazing that way.”
As an artist Ms. Harris felt inspired by both “the magnitude of the beauty of the whole thing,” and “the colors.”
Traditional Chinese culture was replete with values such as benevolence, honor, and sincerity, explains Shen Yun’s website. Several dances depict the modern day persecution of the mediation practice Falun Dafa, which is guided by the principles of ‘Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance,’ and whose practitioners “manifest the very essence of China’s 5,000-year-old divine culture” in the fact of persecution with ” their spirit of compassion and tolerance.”
Ms. Harris felt there was a moral message in the performance. “Don’t lose your morals … the good and the evil, it’s all pretty appropriate for that’s happening now, I think that’s happening in society. So I think it was very relevant.”
Reporting by NTD and Leigh Smith.
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.