“It’s fun, it’s enjoyable, it’s an interesting combination to me of Chinese and Western musical instruments,” said Mr. Shoebridge of the Shen Yun Orchestra.
According to the company website, the Western symphony orchestra with its energy and grandeur, and the ancient Chinese instruments with their distinct tones and styles, create a dramatic new sound, which appealed to Mr. Shoebridge.
Mr. Shoebridge was also particularly struck by the colourful display radiating from the stage. “The colours are actually very vibrant, you know more strong than I would expect from a Western set … There is a bigger range of colour, more colours here than I would expect as well.”
He and his wife were surprised to learn that Shen Yun was founded in New York and both were left questioning why Shen Yun could not perform on stage in China.
The website explains; “Shen Yun uses performing arts to present stories that bring to life the inner essence of China’s divinely inspired culture. This includes ancient legends, characters and tales from history, and representative events from the modern world, including Falun Gong cultivation stories. Falun Gong, also called Falun Dafa, has been persecuted since 1999 for practicing ancient principles Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance.”
Mrs. Shoebridge, who is an engineer, thought the performance was lovely and though she felt intrigued in parts, she was left needing to learn more.
“The quality of the dances, the choreography is beautiful, it’s interesting,” she said. “I was expecting a Chinese group so it’s interesting to find out that they’re from New York. I would like to find out a bit more at the end of it,” she said.
Mrs. Shoebridge said she was interested in the arts and the performance itself.
“Beautiful, absolutely exquisite and I loved the way that the Chinese dance gets humour involved, so you always have these characters. It’s beautiful.”
Both their children James and Emily enjoyed themselves too, even though their parents had to sit apart as they missed out on getting four spare seats together. As it was, they were only able to secure three seats so Emily sat in her mother’s lap.
Reporting by NTD Television and Raiatea Tahana-Reese