SYDNEY—A group of five Catholic nuns were among the audience watching Shen Yun perform at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre on Thursday, May 3, and said the spectacular made them feel like they had arrived in heaven.
The sisters, from a convent in the suburb of Marrickville, said the beautiful dancing and music, and the compassionate messages behind their performance, made them feel closer to God.
“It’s really beautiful, wonderful,” said Sister Elham Geagea. “The songs, the voice, the dance, the dresses. I feel like I am really in heaven.
“As you know I am a nun and always we look towards heaven. And tonight we are sitting and watching and I feel myself in the middle of these beautiful dances, beautiful soprano, this beautiful voice takes you and takes your soul, your spirit, your body, everything towards God.
“I want to congratulate the dancers, the singers and all the people present today and thank you for this beautiful work, and the hard work they put into it to give people a mission, and a mission is this kindness, this compassion, this love, towards the highest, towards God.”
Much of China’s traditional culture was about revering Heaven, and it is this culture that Shen Yun draws from in its performances. The dancers perform in front of vibrant digital backdrops which bring to life myths and legends from China’s history, many containing heavenly scenes and deities.
“I can feel that they want to connect us to that culture by this singing and dancing,” Sister Geagea said. “You feel peace, peace in your heart, and you don’t want it to stop, you want it to continue.”
Sister Martha Mechleb had similar feelings, and said it brought out some similarities between Chinese culture and Catholicism.
“It’s fabulous, very nice, because it lifts up our soul to heaven,” Sister Mechleb said. “That’s what I felt about it. The colours, the music, the scenery and even the people who are acting through the dance. It’s so nice. Magnificent.
She loved the performance Joyful Little Monks, a warm and humorous piece where apprentice monks in a secluded monastery have fun while cleaning up with brooms, basins and washcloths.
“We love to visit the temples from time to time. We spend our recollection and prayer days very often over there.”
Sister Josephine Wehbe said the spectacular was “like meditation”.
“I loved it, it is so peaceful,” she said. “It’s so beautiful, it tells us about the Chinese culture and it took us to the old time with the beauty, compassion, colourful life, beautiful life.”
The song What is the Meaning of Life? performed by soprano Chia-Ning Hsu, was memorable for her.
“Everything was just … for me it was just like in meditation,” she said.
Reporting by NTD Television 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.
For more information visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org