Shen Yun Graceful and Mesmerizing

April 21, 2012 Updated: August 14, 2015

AUCKLAND, New Zealand—Shen Yun Performing Arts is visiting New Zealand for the sixth consecutive year. Each year, the New York-based performing arts company has an all-new production that seeks to offer the audience an experience it will always remember.

On Saturday April 21, Ilse Wolfe and Richard McKinley were at the ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre, in Auckland to see the internationally acclaimed performance.

Shen Yun was established in New York in 2006 with a mission to revive the true, divinely-inspired cultural heritage of China. Classical Chinese dance is one way in which 5,000 years of Chinese culture has been passed down and retained. Within classical Chinese dance lies China’s rich cultural traditions. It is therefore capable of depicting scenes from any time period, whether ancient or modern.

The pair said they loved the show and thought it was beautifully done.

“Really well orchestrated, every one disciplined and in sync. You can see how much practice they put in, and their commitment. I thought it was beautifully executed,” said Ms. Wolfe.

“A lot of different styles brought together smoothly,” said Mr. McKinley.

Mr. McKinley particularly enjoyed the dances Joyful Little Monks, which depicts apprentice monks in a secluded monastery, and Qing Imperial Guards showing the highly disciplined imperial guards from the Qing Dynasty. “In the crisp air of a snow-dusted courtyard, imperial guards wield fans as weapons, embodying a spirit of strength, dignity, and refinement,” the program states.

“I liked the monks, the naughty ones; and the one with the blue fans,” Mr. McKinley said.

Ms. Wolfe, who said her mother is Chinese, said it was nice to learn more about the history of dance.

“I want to learn more about not just the dancing and the arts side, but to learn more about the history,” she said.

“I liked the female ones [dances] for the movement; how graceful and feminine they were.

“And definitely the colours. The costumes were amazing,” she added. “It was just so graceful and sort of mesmerizing.”

Mr. McKinley enjoyed the Shen Yun Orchestra with its combination of classical Western and traditional Chinese instruments, playing all-original compositions.

“The live orchestra makes a big difference. They were great. It was good to see the traditional instruments,” he said.

He particularly enjoyed the solo erhu performance, a two-stringed Chinese instrument known for its melancholic and hauntingly beautiful sound.

“That was really cool. I really liked that,” he said.

Reporting by Michelle Hsu and Margo MacVicar.

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 next perform in Wellington, New Zealand, April 23-24.

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