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CANBERRA, Australia—After a sold-out performance at the Canberra Theatre, Christian church ministers Chris Clarke and Prudence Clarke shared their impressions of their first time seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts.
Based in New York, Shen Yun was founded in 2006 and sets out every year to revive the magnificence and wisdom of China’s divinely-inspired culture through breathtaking music and dance, with an all-new, all-original performance each year. Shen Yun declares it is presenting “China before communism.”
“I see a China that is just inviting and welcoming and full of life and diversity and just celebrating in kindness and compassion,” Mr. Clarke said.
Shen Yun’s artists present classical Chinese dance, ethnic, and folk dances, as well as story-based dances that depict ancient myths and legends as well as modern-day dramas, including depicting how the Chinese Communist Party oppresses the Chinese people.
“I think [Shen Yun] shines a lot on the darker side of what’s been happening in China with communism and communism around the world. And it’s a display of—despite persecution—that beauty and life can thrive,” said Mr. Clarke.
“I think it’s a beautiful representation of [the Chinese peoples’] culture and their traditions and their history. And it’s a shame that those things have been squashed over the years. But it’s beautiful to see it revived and see it on display for the world to see.”
The words “Shen Yun” translates to “the beauty of divine beings dancing.”
“[Shen Yun] gave me a greater love for the people of China and the nation of China. It’s something that’s always fascinated us. And to see this show and to be there and to feel the emotion and the passion behind it has just reinvigorated my love and my interest for the country and the people,” he added.
Ms. Clarke said Shen Yun was “just beautiful, very colourful, very full of life, and vibrant.”
She felt “happy, blessed, and excited,” after leaving the theatre, and said her major takeaway from Shen Yun is that “there is hope.”
Mr. Clarke said he would “most definitely” recommend Shen Yun to others.
“It’s a visual feast. It’s a treat for the eyes and the ears and stirs the spirit,” he said, calling Shen Yun a “celebration of life and spirit—the spirit of people and the spirit within all of us.”
Julian Widdup said he enjoyed all the elements of the Shen Yun performance with his wife, Cecilia Widdup. This was the couple’s second time seeing Shen Yun.
“It was an amazing performance; the costumes were great, the colours were great, the dancing and the music, we really enjoyed the music,” said Mr. Widdup, who is a non-executive director of a large fund management company in Canberra.
Mrs. Widdup said Shen Yun was “quite calming in a lot of ways” and “very spiritual.”
“I found it very calming,” she said. “I just felt very relaxed, very comfortable.”
Shen Yun’s eight companies are touring simultaneously in 20 countries, covering almost 200 cities altogether this year.
“You could see the audience reaction, it was a packed theatre here in Canberra and the audience were really appreciative,” said Mr. Widdup. “It was a very full show.”
Mrs. Widdup said that instead of describing the show to her friends, “they need to go and see it.”
“You can say it’s wonderful, but until you see it, you don’t really know just how amazing it is.”
Reporting by NTD, Rebecca Zhu, and Mimi Nguyen Ly.