PERTH, Australia—”Fantastic! It was an amazing show,” said Tony Krsticevic, a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Western Australia when he attended the Shen Yun Performing Arts performance at the Regal Theatre on the evening of Jan. 30 with Linda Ager, a project officer, who also works in interior design.
Mr. Krsticevic knows the value for achieving success, hard work, respect and a positive belief in individual freedom. As an Australian from migrant parents his father taught him that “hard and honest work” will reap you the “benefits of a happy and prosperous life” according to his website.
He came away from Shen Yun inspired.
“I would say that it is inspirational, and it is full of energy and vibrancy,” he said. “It has a very, very important story to tell. It is worth going to see … and take away something very important.”
Based in New York, Shen Yun’s mission is to revive the traditional Chinese culture refined through thousands of years but almost destroyed through communist repression and the Cultural Revolution. With classical Chinese dance at its heart Shen Yun brings mini-dramas to life on stage giving glimpses into China’s history and the principles of benevolence and justice, propriety and wisdom, respect for the heavens, and divine retribution. The essence of traditional Chinese culture, which is traditionally belived to have been divinely inspired.
Mr. Krsticevic was touched by these story dances and he aligned to some themes.
“It was a great story. Obviously a fight, good and evil, the struggles of the people. It’s very, very thought provoking, and very inspirational,” he said.
“It gave you hope and encouraged you to believe, and there is support out there for you, to assist you, and you just have to be strong and persevere. You always have to be on the side of good, and trying to work with people who are thinking and acting the same way as you, and work collectively to try to inspire others as well. So fantastic!”
“It was expressing a culture of belief, a philosophy, an ideology, that was being suppressed. It wasn’t allowed to be expressed and grow. And that even though there was this huge effort and energy to make this go away, it was stronger than that. And people believed in it, and they kept growing, and they kept doing what they wanted to do and express themselves. And the positive energy can always come out and prosper.”
Mr. Krsticevic was amazed at the dancers’ ability to convey so much through the dance.
Classical Chinese dance is a complete dance system embodying traditional aesthetic principles with its unique dance movements, rhythms, and inner meanings. Each movement, posture, hand gesture and facial expression communicates meaning to the audience.
“I think it was interesting the way you could actually follow the story through the dance. So you didn’t need to have words. You could feel the emotion, you could feel the energy and you could see the story unfolding. It actually came together really well,” he said.
“I felt like I was connecting, and that it was great to see the energy and the vibrancy, and it made me feel calm as well. You become part of that. It’s about really connecting with the story, connecting with what’s going on in front of you, and it’s a great opportunity to learn to let go and become part of that. I was able to do that and that was fantastic.”
He was inspired by the performance to do more good in the world.
“I feel inspired, and trying to be more good, and trying to help and to make the world a better place,” he said. “[Shen Yun is] making a difference to the world around us.”
‘A wonderful collaboration’
Ms. Ager was also touched by the story dances and appreciative of the insights into traditional and contemporary China.
“I thought it was a good way of showing the history, it was a good way of showing what’s been going on,” she said. “Freedom of thought, freedom of expression.”
As an interior designer and supporter of the recent renovations at the Regal Theatre, Ms. Ager was delighted to see Shen Yun perform there. Her appreciation of the arts added to her enjoyment. The blended orchestra of traditional Chinese and classical Western instruments was a delight for her. The way the dancers, the music, the backdrop and the costumes worked together to present a complete theatrical experience also delighted Ms. Ager.
“I loved the vibrancy of the show, the timing of the orchestra. It was all very emotive, the way that they pulled back with the music and the dancers had their moments,” she said.
“It was quite a merge I thought. You could hear the individual instruments as well, so there were times in the music where it would be just one instrument that would be priority and then you would get the dancer, so and there would be little flicks of the head and little stamps of the foot at certain moments with the acoustic and the percussion so it was just a wonderful collaboration of the Western music and the Chinese traditional music. I really enjoyed it.”
The Shen Yun website states, “Every costume in a Shen Yun performance is presented with brilliant colors, displaying a splendid spectacle.”
Ms. Ager appreciated the visual display. “I found the way that the fabric was flowing was quite emotive and the music would just kick in at certain moments, so it was very touching.”
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.