MELBOURNE, Australia—Rob Salvatore was left in awe of the Shen Yun Performing Arts World Company’s classical Chinese dance and music presentation held at the Melbourne Arts Centre on Feb. 24.
“It was lovely, very impressive and what strikes me most are the colours and just the movements,” he said. “They just work so well with the [backdrops], and just the way [the dancers] interpreted water. It was a beautiful piece.”
Mr. Salvatore was referring to the dance story, “Fairies of the Sea,” one of about 20 dance sequences in Shen Yun’s exhilarating production.
The program book says: “At the surface of the sea these fairies now appear, dancing with long silk fans like rippling waves, and soft blue skirts swirling to the rhythm of the cerulean waters.”
Shen Yun is based in New York. It draws inspiration from a treasure trove of myths and legends, folk traditions and modern day stories of courage.
An orchestra combining Eastern with Western instruments creates a unique sound, while solo musicians, vocalists, radiant costumes, animated digital backdrops, choreographers and stage lighting round off the production.
At the heart of Shen Yun is classical Chinese dance and ethnic dance.
“The dancing was great,” Mr. Salvatore said. “I liked it integrating with the video screen in the background. The integration of those two things worked really well—that was cool,” he said.
Mr. Salvatore works in all sectors of the video recording industry, including as a sound mixer, designer and video producer. He was attending the last of the Shen Yun six-show-run in Melbourne before continuing on its 2016 World Tour to Queensland, Australia’s “Sunshine State,” from Feb. 26 to March 4.
As a music artist, he thought the orchestra’s mix of Eastern and Western composition was excellent, and enjoyed the unique sound. “I like how it’s a crossover between Western and Asian, that was cool,” he said.
Not so cool was the courageous dance story of the fight between good and evil, highlighting the continued oppression in China of the ancient meditation system, Falun Dafa, which is based on the principles of truth, compassion and tolerance.
“It’s ridiculous, terrible, it shouldn’t happen in 2016, it’s a terrible thing—that’s small-mindedness,” Mr. Salvatore said.
But overall, he loved the entirety of the performance and will share his experience with friends and family.
“I just think the energy was quite spectacular and what grabbed me the most is the colour, how they popped. The use of the costumes and the traditions—the colours in their costumes actually create a really strong impression in the audience.”
Basking in Grace and Purity
Also watching the highly acclaimed Shen Yun performance was Wolfgang Schwarz, his wife Penny, and their son Joshua.
Young Joshua had seen Shen Yun before and just like before, he enjoyed the antics of the cheeky, mischievous, magical dance story of the “Monkey King and the Dragon King.”
Mrs. Schwarz said: “A must see, definitely, and a must experience, because it’s not just visual, you’re being touched as well—being transported … I would actually be telling our friends to definitely come and see it.”
Shen Yun aims to take its audience on a journey through 5,000 years of China’s history from traditional culture to contemporary events. But also shows the modern day event, the continued suppression of Falun Dafa, since six decades of China’s communist rule.
“It certainly brought to your awareness that there is something very, very powerful within this tradition that someone is threatened by—that’s to suppress it … It was wonderful.
Ms. Schwartz felt honoured and blessed to witness Shen Yun and her husband agreed: “You don’t get to see much of the ancient Chinese traditions because of communism.”
Mrs. Schwartz was touched “in a very gracious way” she said.
“It has a beauty about it as well that speaks to me. It embraces you like you are sitting here in the crowd, but you’re being touched by something very, very pure. So yes, very blessed. It was our son who wanted to come and see it.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Raiatea Tahana-Reese
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.