Shen Yun ‘Eye Catching’ Says Fashion Photographer

May 1, 2012 Updated: August 14, 2015

SYDNEY—Fashion photographer Brad Mawby has done a lot of attention-grabbing shoots, but said Shen Yun Performing Arts still stood out for him.

“It’s not like your normal show,” Mr. Mawby said after Tuesday night’s performance at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre. “It’s very spectacular, it catches your attention straight away. It’s very eye catching.”

“I love the colour, I love the brightness, the expressiveness. It’s not just people dancing, they’re using fans and scarves, things like that, it’s very nice,” he added.

Shen Yun draws from China’s 5,000-year history to create vibrant dance movements, mostly centred around classical Chinese dance, one of the world’s most extensive and difficult to learn dance disciplines. Striking digital backdrops are used to bring to life various Chinese dynasties, ancient myths and legends, and the flair and customs of different ethnic groups.

Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company, one of three Shen Yun companies touring the world, will be performing in Sydney until Sunday May 6.

Mr. Mawby, who saw the show with his wife Natalia, particularly liked the comical dance Joyful Little Monks, where a group of young monks in a secluded monastery have fun while cleaning with brooms, basins and washcloths.

“It was funny, it was different to all the other very traditional dancing,” Mr. Mawby said. “You’ve got a broad spectrum of very different types of performances.”

He said it made him realize how extensive Chinese culture is.

“I’m still taking it all in,” he said. “I’ve got a lot, a lot to learn from Chinese culture.”

His wife Natalia Mawby, a finance manager at McDonalds Asia-Pacific, said the show was “refreshing,” and “completely different” to other performances she was used to. She said she would tell her friends to go and see it.

“There’s a lot of moves, it’s technical,” she said. “I love the costumes, the creations are pretty good. There’s a few comical elements in it. I also liked that they introduced a bit of history into it, so that was interesting.”

Reporting by De Ming and Ethan Yang.

Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world, with a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company will perform at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre through May 6.

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