MELBOURNE, Australia—As the curtain rose for the Melbourne premiere of Shen Yun Performing Arts at The Regent Theatre, singer, song writer and radio personality Mike Brady was among the anticipating audience.
Later he spoke to The Epoch Times sharing his thoughts on the show with great enthusiasm.
“Well I was staggered,” said Mr. Brady, “I thought it was unbelievably beautiful and it was not what I expected. I was so happy they had a live orchestra and the orchestra was fantastic, and the dancing was extraordinary. I expected I would like it, but I really did enjoy it very much. I thought it was incredible spectacle and I’d go again.”
As a musician, Mr. Brady has experimented with a few varied musical styles over the decades.
He is most known for his Australian rules football anthems Up There Cazaly and subsequently also producing hits for people as diverse as Joe Dolce and Tina Arena. So what did he think of the Shen Yun Orchestra?
“I thought it was wonderful. But I happen to like Chinese music anyway and Chinese instruments, but I thought the marriage of the two of them was quite incredible. And the deeper I got into the show, the more I appreciated how cleverly they’d done it. It was very, very clever,” said Mr. Brady.
He also mentioned that, regrettably, orchestras are not used as much as they should be:
“Well mostly the music dictated the moods of the pieces. So there was sadness, there was pathos and there was uplifting, a lot of uplifting pieces, and a lot of drama and lots of percussion. For a musician it was just wonderful.”
Mr. Brady also mentioned the erhu solo by virtuoso Xiaochun Qi: “The girl who played the traditional instrument, the string instrument, it was just incredible.” And he was equally impressed by the singers saying: “As for the tenors and the soprano I thought, boy a couple of great voices there!”
Tenor Tian Ge and soprano Chia-Ning Hsu have received great reviews throughout the Shen Yun’s world tour.
Like most theatergoers, Mr. Brady also raved about the dancing in the show: “Well I thought the precision of the dancers, extraordinary, the ensemble was extraordinary. The precision was incredible. The solo dancers, the athleticism and the precision of the soloists were extraordinary too,” said Mr. Brady.
One of the main features of Shen Yun is that the company showcases, through music and choreography narratives, principles such as benevolence and justice, propriety and wisdom, respect for the heavens and divine retribution that originate from Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism. These ideals are the essence of traditional Chinese culture. This aspect seemed to also resonate with Mr. Brady as much as with any Chinese audience members.
“Because it was concentrating largely on the spiritual and mythological elements of ancient Chinese culture, I thought for me, it was good to see that because we would not normally see or hear that,” he continued by saying: “We in the West are very ignorant of how deep and extensive Chinese culture is, or how ancient it is. And this was a little window into another age in China where I suppose you could say the culture and spirituality and belief and faith were an intrinsic part of every day life and that time has changed and who knows, it may even come back one day.”
Mr. Brady thought this was a “very nice introduction, like a little window into an introduction to the richness of Chinese culture and to me I would really love my children to have seen it, because it really gives just a small insight into the massive depth of culture that still exists in China.”
He also mentioned that his daughter attended Shen Yun last year but he wished that all his children and that “everybody” would see the show.
“I have already spread the word. I’ve told everybody how great it is and I took a few of the brochures and I gave them out.” said Mr. Brady.
Lastly, Mr. Brady noted that the audience was very mixed in terms of race and nationality as well as those of Chinese background, “and they seemed to absolutely love it. I thought everyone was talking about it afterwards. I thought it was a runaway success on the night.”
Mr. Brady concluded by saying: “I felt that the audience were enthralled by it, the color and the precision of the performances was amazing. I didn’t see a single mistake or anybody get remotely out of whack with the rest of the ensemble. It was a visual spectacular that I will never forget. It was fabulous. I was very honored to be there.”
Reporting by Leigh Smith and Kati Turcu.
Based in New York, Shen Yun Performing Arts, is touring the world on a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. The company will perform next in Canberra April 17 – 18 and Sydney April 27 – May 6.
For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.
The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of Shen Yun Performing Arts