(Clearwisdom.net) Shen Yun Performing Arts began its three-day run in New Zealand at the ASB Theater in Auckland on April 15.

Dr. Pita Sharples, the Minister of Parliament for Maori Affairs and Education, had his mokopuna's (grandchildren) with him. He said, "Oh, it is excellent, just extraordinary. The costumes are amazing, they use them to good effect, and I am pleased to hear they are part of tradition. And the choreography is good, the dancing is good, the masters of ceremony are so professional."

Dr. Pita Sharples, Minister of Parliament for Maori Affairs and Education

Dr. Sharples, who has a Maori dance group of his own, was impressed with the detail that went into the choreography. He said, "I have seen quite a number of Chinese shows. This is definitely up there right at the top." What impressed Dr. Sharples was, "The spirituality--the whole show is spiritual. It is so moving to see the way the dancers enjoy what they are doing, the way they send a message. The young man that was killed and went to heaven--it was beautiful, really good."

He said, "I think Western society has drifted away in some sense from the spiritual connections, the cultural connections, in daily life. I think this show has got to be good for them." Dr. Sharples was glad he had brought his grandchildren along. "I've got to tell you, these children here are my grandchildren. They are excited about every dance. Most children might have gone to sleep or left by now. They are amazed--say they like this one and that one, and the Tibetan one the best."

Maori Carver: "It's a different experience"

Mr. Thompson, a Maori carver, was at the show's opening night. He had never seen a Chinese performance like this before. He said, "I think it's a different experience, especially for a Maori. We come in and connect the similarities in the cultures. Yes, for us it's ... another experience of a different culture than ours, and we just look upon the things that we do as Maori in the performances and look at the performances that they have here. This is the first time that I have seen a Chinese show like this. Yes, [it's] different."

Mr. Thompson, a Maori carver

Mr. Thompson said, "I think that the costumes help to express what they're trying to portray in the stories and the dances. It helps dramatize the whole story. It's part of the whole performance. The costumes play a big part in the whole story telling, [it's] exciting."

His favorite piece was "The Monkey King Triumphs." "I think the Monkey King was something that I could relate to because the Monkey King was on TV here and so I could make a relationship between the play and the story that they are trying to show, so that was my favorite one, the Monkey King."

Mr. Thompson added, "I think their interpretation of the story through dance is quite easy to read and easy to understand. I do have a bit of an understanding of Chinese theater and performance, and I think the dance is used as a way to communicate the story."

"Very uplifting, very positive"

Mr. and Mrs. Drior were very touched by the values expressed by Shen Yun. It was "very uplifting, very positive," said Mrs. Drior, describing her overall impression, "and I think these people are really courageous, in that they speak out for what is important in this kind of age. Namely, that we have to return to ... morality, love, compassion, and so on. And I think it is international and universal."

Mr. and Mrs. Drior

Mrs. Drior, an art therapist, found the show very relevant to her field of work. "It doesn't matter what walk of life you come from, whether from the east or from the west ... a lot of devotion is conveyed.

"It is very feminine [in] parts, the colors, the beautiful movements, the love and compassion," she replied when asked what she liked best about the show.

Mr. Drior, a former head of a management institute, also resonated with values expressed by the performing artists. "I like the message-it was so different, unusual in performances."

Mr. Drior described the Shen Yun performance as "a kind of total theater. So you have your music, your dance, and the colors. Every aspect of the show--the dancers, the colors, the music--was delightful. It was total theater--sometimes unexpected. I enjoyed the whole program."

He particularly liked the unique digital backdrops, "Also what I liked very much is what you saw on the screen, moving on the screen ... The three-dimensional part of it, and that you bring the people to the spirit and the spirit comes back and those kind of things."

Source: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/15405/