PERTH, Australia—Hand-made costumes worn by Shen Yun Performing Arts dancers attracted high praise from a Western Australian dance school owner, on Feb. 22, 2019.
Elly Jones, who operates a ballet and modern dance school, was very impressed by Shen Yun’s traditional Chinese garments onstage at Perth’s Regal Theatre. She liked the colors so much she will introduce similar tones to her school wardrobe too.
“The costumes were out of this world,” she said. “They were so bright and glorious, [I will] definitely make sure a lot of costumes for our next dance concert will be nice and bright.”
Jones enjoyed Shen Yun’s use of 3-D animated backdrops to add an extra dimension to tell the story of 5,000 years of Chinese civilization.
“The show definitely showed the Buddhism in the performances, and it was beautiful how they portrayed that and how they were able to go in and out of the backdrop,” she said. “The angels coming through and everything is fabulous, so good. It was very creative.”
She also liked the wide variety of dance movements so much that she will pass on what she observed to her students, so they can also gain an appreciation of classical Chinese dance.
“There was a lot of different relays, a lot of different actually dance moves that we will be using and working through [at the school],” Jones said. “I’m actually going to do a number using fans, I’m going to find out how I can get the fans, which is like the [wave] effect, and I’ll definitely be using those in our next concert.”
Jones is convinced New York-based Shen Yun is a world-class show, and one of her favorite performances she has been to.
“I’ve been to quite a lot of them being a dance teacher, and that was definitely one of my highest experiences,” she said. “The excitement in each of the performances was magnificent … [and] the precision of all the beautiful steps was fantastic, so it was wonderful, absolutely wonderful.”
Donna Whittaker, an investor relations manager for manganese mining company in Indonesia, was very impressed by the high caliber of the performances that kept her and her family on the edge of their seats.
“I describe it as basically electric, it’s extremely colorful, it’s amazingly skillful, it’s generally entertaining, even my 5 1/2 year-old boy is quite enthralled, and I’m more than a little bit surprised by that,” she said. “The emotion with, especially the last scene with the daughter practicing meditation and going to jail, is quite moving; that did bring me to tears.”
She was very moved by one performance about the Chinese communist regime’s 19-year persecution of the peaceful Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong) spiritual movement.
“Basically any form of persecution [is] obviously, horrid. Being a mother myself, seeing the mother in pain, the daughter suffering [was] quite hard to take,” Whittaker said. “They portrayed it very, very, very well and sensitively, and in a moving way.”
Whittaker also used the performance as an opportunity to spend time with her children who insisted on coming to the performance after seeing Shen Yun promotional material.
“We’re here today mainly because my daughter asked us if she could come, because she had seen the promotion material, and absolutely loved it,” she said.
She also found it to be a useful opportunity to appreciate traditional Chinese culture, better understand some of her Hong Kong-based clients at work, and encourage them to see the performance too.
“I find it quite valuable, I deal with a lot of Chinese people in my general work dealings and have some appreciation of the culture, but didn’t realize how complex this dance form actually was,” Whittaker said. “The tumbles and the flips added an extra dimension; it’ll give me another topic of conversation with our investors from China … I’ll be recommending that they do [see the show too].”
Underground gold miner Arthur Erlich found Shen Yun helped him explore his interest in traditional Chinese culture and found the portrayal to be genuine.
“I find [it] quite authentic [in] the emperors, the Mongolians, [and] the actual dance,” he said. “The show is excellent, it’s well worth coming to see, it’s very entertaining.”
Erlich enjoyed the color and beauty of the performance.
“Very attractive, the colors are very attractive and entertaining,” he said. “The divinity is always there, the Chinese—I think—are very spiritual and it was very realistic.”
He said the stories communicated to him a peaceful message about a calmer way of life, and encouraged others to experience it for themselves too.
Finance and retail professional Mary Russell was amazed by the color of the performance and well-versed emceeing in both Chinese and English before each performance.
“The costumes, the color, the story behind every dance is just what they were about years ago and what they brought forward. It was amazing, absolutely amazing,” she said. “They [the emcees] were wonderful, they set the plot but the dancing alone told the story.”
Russell found the moral of the story to be about freedom of belief, traditional culture, and the humanity of caring for each other.
With reporting by NTD Television and Richard Szabo.
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time and has covered audience reactions since the company’s inception in 2006.