Travel to another time and place as you walk through the doors of the Sydney Lyric Theatre and experience Chinese culture told through 5000 years worth of stories and legends. In an attempt to revive all those years ofChinese culture which have almost been totally eliminated by the Communist government, Shen Yun Performing Arts was created back in 2006 by Falun Dafa practitioners and now they tour internationally sharing these tales of ancient dynasties.
Each dance featured its own set of colourful costumes and animated backdrops while telling stories of loss, beauty and heroes of the past. All beautifully executed in their own right, there were still some acts that were hard to forget. One of the beginning numbers told the tale of Chang’e, the lady on the moon. Her husband, Yi, had received an elixir of immortality and had waited to drink the potion so that both he and Chang’e would be able to share the elixir and become immortal together. However, the potion was spilt before Yi could drink the remainder left by his wife and so Chang’e, alone, became immortal and chose the moon as her solitary home. A heart-wrenching tale, the whole company of dancers and musicians were able to bring out the emotion in the piece and display a beautiful, albeit sad, performance.
Another stand out of the night was the ocean fan dance which mesmerized the audience with its twirling patterns that made you believe you were swimming under the sea. Making use of their fans, the dancers would open and close them to the time of the music which made a resounding thud in perfect synchronization. The fans also had a piece of material hanging from the end which allowed the dancers to create an image of water rippling in the wind and soft ocean waves in the summer months. This piece was a great addition to Shen Yun’s repertoire and it was easily a favourite of the night.
Time passed quickly while watching the various performances and it would have been easy to stay longer just to watch more stories from China’s past. The dancers were always in perfect unison, the orchestra combined instruments from the Western world as well as traditional Chinese pieces, and the soloist sopranos simply wowed with their vocals. It is hard to fault a production company that works together harmoniously and creates such captivating pieces.
Every year Shen Yun returns to Sydney and cities all over the world with a brand new repertoire of dances, costumes and awe-inspiring music to thrill audiences of all ages. With 5000 years of stories to tell, Shen Yun is sure to be around for many years so if you missed the production this time, there’s no need to fear, you’ll be able to catch them in 2017.