CANBERRA, Australia—By day, the acclaimed voice professor Claudia Visca teaches angels to sing, but this particular evening was hers. Ms. Visca spent the night with divine beings—the Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company.
Shen Yun translates as, ‘the beauty of divine beings dancing,’ according to Shen Yun’s website and Ms. Visca agreed, saying the New York-based presentation was “absolutely wonderful.”
She was attending Feb. 17, the first of two Shen Yun performances held at the Canberra Theatre.
Ms. Visca is a professor of voice at the Music Academy in Cologne, and the University for Music and Performing Arts, Vienna. She is currently in Australia giving masterclasses in vocal technique to singers in Sydney and Canberra.
Talking about Shen Yun, Ms. Visca said, “I’m just so amazed at how these people can move, and how graceful they are, and what command they have over their bodies. It’s a real joy,” she said.
Ms. Visca praised the entire concept of Shen Yun, put together by a group of award winning artists in 2006. They made a wish back then to reawaken China’s 5,000-year-old divinely inspired culture, almost lost to 65 years of communist rule, and share it with the world.
That wish is coming to fruition. By the end of its 2015 World Tour, four companies would travel to more than 100 cities, giving more than 400 performances on prestigious stages, bringing joy to millions.
Ms. Visca was one of them saying Shen Yun gave a beautiful performance and that she loved the music.
“It combines movements with music, and singing, and dance and all of the genres of the arts that one needs to have a great performance.”
Over the past 26 years, Ms. Visca has guested in more than 25 opera houses of Europe and has sung 2000 performances in over 75 operatic, operetta and musical roles, according to the website, www.hkapa.edu
A special highlight of her career was to sing “Maria” in West Side Story, conducted by the composer, Leonard Bernstein.
‘The choreography was beautiful’
Former ballet dancer Lisa Turner and her mother, from England, celebrated both their birthdays attending the Shen Yun performance.
Ms. Turner was a professional ballet dancer with the Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet Company and the Birmingham Ballet Company.
Of Shen Yun, she said, “It’s visually stunning. The dancers are so elegant. They literally look as though they glide across the stage. Very athletic, it’s absolutely fabulous.”
Ms. Turner said she could see similarities and differences between the two dance forms, classical Chinese dance and classical ballet.
“I would say that the [Shen Yun] dancers are a lot more athletic, than classical dancers. Absolutely beautiful. The lines, the technique … I know what goes into it, to get to that level. The choreography was beautiful.”
According to Shen Yun’s website, many of the techniques we see in gymnastics today in fact have been part of classical Chinese dance for thousands of years.
“What few people realize is that these gravity-defying techniques introduced to gymnastics over the last decades have, in classical Chinese dance, a history of thousands of years,” says the website.
‘It was just a beautiful journey’
Caroline Halewicz is unlikely to forget Shen Yun, she was transported to another world and taken on a magical journey.
“It was just marvellous,” she said..
Shen Yun means ”the beauty of divine beings dancing,” Ms. Halewicz did indeed believe she had seen divine beings dancing and they had taken her on a journey.
“When the clouds came down, I felt that they were coming to take me on a journey with them,” she said.
“I wasn’t on my seat anymore. I’m a grown woman, but I sat there like a little girl watching it all and taking it all in, and I didn’t exist here anymore. I was there with them and all the beauty, the serenity, the joy and the love. Everything that could be good was in there. It was just a beautiful journey.”
Ms. Halewicz had become so intrigued with the performance that she had no concept of time, she was shocked when interval had arrived.
“Your heart is stolen, and when you finally come back to Earth, you bring part of that back with you. The joy, the dreaming, you can never forget it, because that’s your dream forevermore. To dream of what we saw tonight.”
Ms. Halewicz said as time unfolds, there would be no more torment, no more hardship, no more pain but without suffering mankind would never know peace.
Reporting by NTD Television, Mary Yuan and Raiatea Tahana-Reese
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.
Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reaction since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006