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Shen Yun Review

Shen Yun is a spectacular performance that pays homage to both ancient and contemporary Chinese culture.

Through 15 short scenes, the dancers and musicians of Shen Yun Performing Arts explore 5000 years of history; from ancient stories, ethnic and folk traditions, and classical dance, to the more recent demonstrations of communism and oppression.

Each performance is extraordinary, featuring hundreds of perfectly coordinated performers. From tiny steps to leaps and flips, it feels that an accident is imminent, that someone would trip and they would all topple like dominos. But it’s flawless.

The show is accompanied by a spectacular live orchestra, including traditional Chinese instruments such as the two stringed erhu and the plucked pipa.

Furthermore, the use of coordinated visuals on the projection screen at the back of the stage is incredible. Performers appear in animations and appear on stage as if they leap from the screen. Their detailed costumes are covered with intricate patterns and bright colours are magnificent.

While the dancing is phenomenal, the two operatic solo performances are not, and neither is the the length of the show; over two hours, plus an intermission. Despite the fascination of what is coming next, it seems to drag on and the audience seem keen to leave.

Nonetheless, Shen Yun is aesthetically pleasing and enjoyable, and you will never forget their meticulous choreography. Unlike reading a book or even watching a movie, Shen Yun is a unique and interactive way to experience part of the Chinese culture.

The New York based performing arts company is currently on their 2017 World Tour and visited the Canberra Theatre on April 3rd and 4th.

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