SYDNEY—”[Shen Yun] was an exhilarating display of traditional Chinese culture,” said Dr. Keith Suter, who attended Shen Yun Performing Arts with his wife, Jane Suter, at the Capitol Theatre on Feb. 12.
Dr. Keith Suter is a global social commentator, strategic planner, author and media personality, highly respected and sought for in areas of social policy and foreign affairs. He is a member of The Club of Rome, the international prestigious think tank on economic and environmental issues. Dr. Suter is also the Foreign and International Affairs editor and expert on Channel 7’s Sunrise program. He holds many other key positions, including Director of Studies of the International Law Association (Australian Branch) and chairperson of the International Commission of Jurists (NSW).
He was most impressed with Shen Yun’s cultural value.
“The dancers were most impressive, the way in which they uphold the traditional values, and also the underlying message that was conveyed this evening. Obviously an emphasis on high culture, and traditional ideas—the history, and the reminder of what China used to be like thousands of years ago,” he said.
New York-based non-profit Shen Yun has become a global phenomenon, having performed in front of millions across hundreds of cities. Whether set in the past or contemporary times, each dance piece embodies traditional values such as loyalty, courage and harmony, a reflection of the essence of Chinese civilisation.
Dr. Suter praised Shen Yun’s digital backdrop in its celebration of nature. “I was very impressed with all the backdrops, the lovely scenic arrangement,” he said. “They are very connected to the nature. I think that we tended to overlook that in recent years with the extensive industrial revolution that has taken place.”
From open grasslands to Himalayan peaks, to ancient villages, to celestial paradises—Shen Yun’s digital backdrop transports the audience to different worlds.
His wife, Mrs. Suter said Shen Yun was “Inspiring. Absolutely.”
“I think, China has a lot to teach us in this spirituality which they have had, and the culture and wisdom that we can see tonight. It was just an amazing experience. I recommend everyone to go and see it!” she said.
“I was just so impressed with the grace and beauty of the dancers, the music, the skill. It was just a wonderful evening of entertainment.”
‘It certainly touched us tonight’
Also in attendance were Jane Rundle and mother Julie Rundle. Ms. Jane Rundle is the director and lead human resources consultant at AR Solutions. She bought tickets as a treat for her mother’s birthday.
“My experience was absolutely exhilarating. I expected it would be slick, polished, but I didn’t expect the emotion that I felt coming out of the performance. The connection [that] the dance and music has to the audience is really something I haven’t experienced before. It was amazing,” she said, commenting on her unexpected emotional experience after coming to Shen Yun.
“I really feel we’re walking out of here fully energised and feeling that we’ve been elevated to some other place, which I don’t think we ever expected we would do.”
The music and the blended orchestra of classical Western and traditional Chinese instruments were a unique feature for Ms. Rundle.
“The traditional instruments were just breathtaking and the solo performance, both voice and instrumental were beyond compare. It was just—the emotion, and the performances, you can tell that there was a craft and these were leading musicians in that craft, there was no question, it was really blue ribbon.”
She praised the erhu performance by virtuoso Xiaochun Qi and said that she had never experienced such emotion while listening to music.
The erhu, a two-stringed instrument with four thousand years of history. Its timbre said to be closest to the human voice, and is thereby incredibly expressive, capable of depicting many emotions.
“You feel their passion, you feel their commitment to what they’re doing and how important the philosophy of the message is to them,” Ms. Jane Rundle said. “It certainly touched us tonight.”
‘They truly believe it and they live it’
On the same night, retired bookkeeper Janet Sladden was accompanied by her husband to see Shen Yun, after being drawn by a beautiful television advertisement at the shopping mall.
“It was brilliant. I loved it! It’s good to learn the history of [China], it’s great that it’s coming back, it’s wonderful,” she said.
Ms. Sladden could sense the inner feelings, values and qualities of the rich ancient culture expressed through the dancers’ physical movements.
“It was expressed beautifully in the dancing. It’s so hard to put into words. You could see what they were trying to say. It actually came through in the dance,” she said. “It comes from the soul with the dancing.”
“You can see, it’s not something that someone like myself can probably get up and do, or just a dancer. It has to be someone that truly believes it and it comes from right inside. I think it’s brilliant. They truly believe it and they live it.”
Ms. Sladden would definitely recommend Shen Yun to friends and family.
Reporting by NTD Television, Steve Xu, Janita Kan and Mimi Nguyen Ly
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.
Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reaction since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006