(Minghui.org) The New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts International Company staged three sold-out shows at Sydney, Australia’s Capitol Theatre, on February 11 and 12, 2013.
Shen Yun Is “Certainly the Best,” Says Official
The Honorable David Clarke, MLC, attended Shen Yun Performing Arts at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre on Feb. 12. (Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times)
One of the many VIPs attending the Shen Yun show was the Honorable David Clarke, MLC, who was accompanied by his wife. He has seen and enjoyed Shen Yun many times before and loved this year’s performance, as well.
“I think it was magnificent,” he said, “This is certainly the best.”
He added, “It’s spectacular, it’s colorful, it’s absolutely tremendous, it’s professional, very beautifully presented.”
Mr. Clarke appreciated Shen Yun’s live orchestra of classical Western and traditional Eastern instruments.
“To hear the orchestra with traditional Chinese instruments was absolutely magnificent. The whole thing came together very, very well,” he enthused.
The ideals of benevolence and justice, propriety and wisdom, respect for the heavens, and divine retribution are the essence of traditional Chinese culture, according to Shen Yun’s website.
Mr. Clarke felt these qualities came to life during the performance. He said, “It showed that there is a spiritual side to mankind, an eternal everlasting spirit that no man-made institution or dictatorship can control, because the spirit can’t be controlled by man-made repression.
“This, I think, is the basis of what we’ve seen here tonight. It brings everything together—5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture is alive and well, here in Sydney, Australia, in 2013 when we saw that magnificent performance here tonight.”
He felt that it was a very opportune time for Shen Yun to be in Sydney, during Chinese New Year celebrations.
“Apart from the splendor and the spectacle and the color and the professionalism and all of these things coming together, the beautiful music and presentation. The choreography was magnificent—everything was done in unison, every person played their part, but there is an over-riding message to this—that the spirit of man is a free spirit and that nothing can suppress it, and at the end of the day, nothing is going to suppress it and good is going to triumph over evil. That’s the message that I got from this,” he explained.
Mr. Clarke is both a Member of the New South Wales Legislative Council and Parliamentary Secretary for Justice. He also serves as chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Justice in the NSW State Government.
Shen Yun Is Perfect, Says Reverend
Fred Nile MLC attends Shen Yun Performing Arts at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre on Feb. 11. (Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times)
Reverend the Hon. Fred Nile MLC, an elected official, was also in the audience enjoying the show.
He said he found Shen Yun very inspiring. “The dancers, both the male and the female, as well as the choreography, the costumes—you couldn’t fault it, it’s perfect!”
Mr. Nile is the longest-serving member of the New South Wales Parliament and has been a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council since 1981.
He said that Shen Yun reminds the audience of their spiritual side and focuses on improving the moral standards of society.
“I think it’s good to remind people that we have a spiritual side to our nature. There’s been too much emphasis on materialism and greed … even in modern China it’s facing a lot of corruption and they could even be reminded about the need for truth and righteousness and that we are spiritual beings. I think it’s very important, and that’s a strong aspect of the production.”
Mr. Nile concluded, “I think it’s all very good.”
Shen Yun Dancers’ Skills Impressed Councilor
Penrith City Councilor Jim Aitken OAM attended Shen Yun Performing Arts at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre. (Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times)
Also taking in the show was Councilor Jim Aitken OAM, who recognized both the educational and cultural value of the performance.
Mr. Aitken, a former mayor and deputy mayor of the Penrith City Council, is also a successful businessman who knows the importance of understanding the cultures upon which societies are built.
“What other group of people or nationality has had a 5,000-year heritage!” asked Mr. Aitken rhetorically.
New York-based Shen Yun is the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music company. Formed in 2006, the company consists of the world’s top artists from around the world, who seek to revive traditional Chinese culture and art forms.
“I see different parts of China and different heritages of China coming out, which is very, very good for our country and for the people here,” said Mr. Aitken.
When asked what he especially liked about Shen Yun, he replied, “I think it is the skill, I think it is the color.”
Councilor Rediscovers Chinese New Year Feeling at Shen Yun
Parramatta City Councilor John Hugh saw Shen Yun Performing Arts for the second time at the Capitol Theatre on Feb. 12. (Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times)
It was the second time that Councilor John Hugh, an ethnic Chinese, saw Shen Yun.
“Each time I’ve seen Shen Yun it has left me with a different impression,” Councilor Hugh said. “I feel that Shen Yun is a rich Chinese cultural show.”
Mr. Hugh bade a happy Chinese New Year, the Year of the Snake, to the performers, staff and audience members of Shen Yun, as well as the Chinese community, and friends on behalf of himself and the Parramatta Mayor, John Chedid.
“May you enjoy health and good fortune in the new year!” he announced.
For the elected official, the experience revived the magical feeling of the holiday, and a sense of his heritage.
“This is truly experiencing the Chinese New Year!” Mr. Hugh said. After leaving China 20 years ago, “gradually I lost that excited feeling about the Chinese New Year. So this is a great reminder [for me].”
“After seeing Shen Yun I really feel I am experiencing the Chinese New Year, that I am an ethnic Chinese experiencing the Chinese New Year.”
The official sat close to the stage, which enabled him to see details of the choreography, close up.
“This time I was sitting in the front row seeing all the different kinds of ethnic dances. I didn’t realize before how intricate the dancing is and how many postures there are, so many different styles of dance and foundational skills. I learned a lot this time!” he concluded.
Shen Yun ‘Very, Very Beautiful,” Says Federation President
Reverend Greg Stone attended Shen Yun Performing Arts at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre on Feb. 12. (Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times)
Reverend Greg Stone, Australian President of the Universal Peace Federation, and Secretary General for the Oceania Region, was also in the audience.
“It was excellent, refreshing, beautiful,” Rev. Stone said. “Very enjoyable.”
Rev. Stone said that he gained “a new insight into the depth of the Chinese culture.”
“It’s something I haven’t seen before, but Shen Yun has been able to bring it to Australia and display it to the world, which is really refreshing.”
He described classical Chinese dance, which is one of the most comprehensive dance forms in the world, as “technically beautiful,” adding that Shen Yun is an “amazing performance. Very, very beautiful.”
To Rev. Stone, the most important thing about Shen Yun is that “it was displaying a spirituality, you know, five thousand years of history, so I really enjoyed it very much,” he said.
Shen Yun’s Goodness Shines Forth for Sydney Lawyer
Mr. Rahme, a principal partner of Mark Rahme & Associates, at Shen Yun Performing Arts, on Feb. 12. (Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times)
Mark Rahme, a principal partner and general practice solicitor of Mark Rahme & Associates, attended the performance accompanied by his personal assistant, Cathy Xie, who came to Australia from China four years ago.
Shen Yun was an emotional experience for Mr. Rahme, who has over 20 years experience in the legal field, one mixed with a deep appreciation of humanity’s path towards goodness.
“[It's been] an experience for me. I’ve not seen anything like this before,” he said.
The story-based dance about a teacher being unjustly persecuted for her belief in Falun Dafa carried a personal level of meaning for Mr. Rahme.
“That was really quite emotional. I had a friend who was a Falun Gong follower. She was persecuted in China, about 10 years ago. That brought back a lot of special memories,” he explained.
Mr. Rahme believes that Shen Yun touches upon issues that help the audience further appreciate the freedom in Western countries.
“It’s very different, some of the lives people live in China … we take a lot for granted. You see just a little bit of what goes on … you really appreciate a country like Australia. We are incredibly lucky.”
For Ms. Xie, who came to Australia from Liaoning Province in northeastern China, the opening scene of the great kings descending to Earth brought tears to her eyes.
“Some dancing was very emotional. I liked all the dances. The first one really touched [me to] tears. And also the teacher dance,” she said.
Mr. Rahme and Ms. Xie came to Shen Yun after receiving a promotional DVD of the show in the mail at their office. Mr. Rahme said he was immediately interested in seeing the show.
He believes that the show gives people who are not of Chinese background “a better appreciation of Chinese history and where things are now in China.”
Having been to China a couple of times, Mr. Rahme notes that although the people there carry cultural richness, they are still “very scared.”
“The little bit I saw really shocked me,” he said. “It’s a shame. We criticize our politicians here, yet, we are very, very lucky; there is a lot of tolerance, which does not exist in other countries.”
Ms. Xie’s experience of living in China firsthand prompted her to recall what the “older people” used to tell her about the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s and 1970s.
“Chairman Mao did wrong things … jailed some nice people. So terrible,” she said.
But Mr. Rahme strongly believes that it is important to take the goodness out of each situation and allow that to flourish.
“It’s very sad because a lot of goodness just relates to the human condition … compassion, tolerance, forbearance. The ideals of the Falun Gong movement—it should be allowed,” he concluded.
CATEGORY: Shen Yun Performing Arts