MELBOURNE, Australia—Opening night of Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Arts Centre Melbourne, State Theatre on Feb. 20 was fascinating for Patrick Torpey, a secondary college principal.
“I was fascinated by watching the moves and just the outstanding talent that was presented here today,” he said. “It was absolutely outstanding.”
Based in New York, Shen Yun’s mission is to revive China’s millennia of culture and history and bring it to life on stage. China was once known as the Land of the Divine. But it’s divinely inspired culture was almost brought to extinction with 60-plus years of communist rule.
Mr. Torpey felt Shen Yun gave you an insight into that culture in two short hours. A history lesson, a geography lesson, a cultural lesson, and an awareness of civil liberties in China today.
“The mixture of it, the history of it … and how they retold many of their stories through their dance. Quite a cultural experience. Fascinating!” he said.
“It just made you appreciate the culture and the arts we have, and the freedom we have in our own country. In China it’s a little bit harder to express their feelings through their arts. It gave me insight into appreciation of that.”
And through these arts—classical Chinese dance, ancient Chinese instruments, the traditional bel canto vocal technique, stories from the best of China’s literary feats—Mr. Torpey felt he experienced the values and traditional beliefs of the ancient culture.
Teaching and keeping alive these morals, myths, and legends is valuable, he said. He said these stories and themes like good versus evil were presented and replicated through dance.
“Very entertaining, very engaging, but very real. Very much part of their lives and important to keep those stories alive for future generations,” he said. The freedom of belief, the freedom of expression is important to an educator of the young, important to everyone.
“I think it’s important that all countries have the freedom to be able to express their feelings, their beliefs, their history, where they’re from. All of us have a need to develop spiritually I think. I think it’s important that all countries and all cultures have the opportunity to express, especially their feelings, beliefs and understandings,” he said.
“It’s very impressive to see insight into the country, into the history, the people, the talent. Just the smiles on their faces. Obviously they’ve faced a lot of sad times, to be able to present that with smiles on their faces, and obviously have a real love and appreciation of where they come from, and what they’re trying to present and showcase here tonight. Very good!”
He felt Shen Yun inspired hope for the future.
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.
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.