(Clearwisdom.net) Shen Yun Performing Arts International Company is playing in Geelong for the first time. The curtain opened again on Saturday afternoon, April 4, to a full house. A few days before the show, it had already been hard to get a ticket. The packed audience gave long applause as the curtain opened on the first magnificent scene, and at the end of the show everyone left slowly and reluctantly as the curtain closed on a unique portrayal of traditional Chinese culture.

The audience at Costa Hall in Geelong

Mainland Chinese: 'I cried from start to finish'

Among those who watched the show, a young lady was especially grateful to be in the audience.

Ms. Liu, a nurse from Shandong Province who came from China one month ago, attended the Shen Yun show carrying her young daughter in her arms.

She was deeply and visibly touched. "Living in China so many years, I've never come across such a moving performance. I didn't even know Chinese culture contained such wonder and beauty. Also, from this performance one can really get that feeling, the inner meaning that dance can bring out. I cried from start to finish. The lyrics also brought out something very deep inside me, I found that straight-from-the-heart sort of truth," said Ms. Liu.

She commented on the dance about the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners [Heaven Awaits Us Despite Persecution]: "Falun Gong practitioners, in the cold wind and harsh sun are explaining the truth of their situation to people, but people don't understand. They have had their families broken through persecution. This has happened to my friends in China. I never thought I'd see such a performance outside China, I'm incredibly moved. I know there is another performance on tonight, I'm thinking of coming to see the show again."

'Extremely terrific performance'

Another student from mainland China, Mr. Li, an IT exchange student, attended the matinee of the Shen Yun Performing Arts 2009 World Tour on April 4.

"This is my first time seeing a performance like this. The first thing I felt was the visual energy and power of the performance. Secondly, through watching this performance, it has helped me remember some history that I had forgotten, some true historical stories," he said.

Summing it up, Mr. Li said, "I feel this is an extremely, extremely terrific performance. From the performance I also saw how the Chinese Communist Party persecutes ordinary citizens, and this leads me to ponder.

"I also see that these performers are all very young, but all so professional, talented, and excellent. The other thing I paid special attention to was their facial expressions. I can really understand that kind of sincerity they have, that kind of straight-from-the-heart sincerity."

Classical Chinese Dancer Lavishes Praise on Shen Yun

Mr. Chang was in his element when discussing Chinese dance. (The Epoch Times)

Mr. Chang, trained in classical Chinese dance, will be performing with the world-renowned Cirque du Soleil in Melbourne on Thursday, April 9, and was delighted he had the opportunity to watch Shen Yun in Geelong. His personal experience has given him a good understanding of the artistic accomplishment of the Shen Yun company.

He described how he participated in New Tang Dynasty Television's dance competition held last year in New York, and spoke with a performer from the Shen Yun company while there. Watching the performance brought back familiar feelings and memories, and he praised the company for bringing the beauty of Chinese dance to the world.

"They train very hard. I've been to New York and met them. They work hard without complaining. They are melding into Chinese dance itself, to bring the beauty of Chinese dance to the whole world--because Shen Yun is a global performance company, they're giving the elegance of Chinese dance to the world, letting more people see the beauty of China. This is a divine activity.

"My favourite might be the Mongolian dance [Mongolian Chopsticks] and the Tibetan dance [Dance of the Snow-Capped Mountain], because these are typical tastes from the very original dancing of Chinese culture ... You can see all the joy on the dancers' faces, they are really into it," he said, smiling.

Mr. Chang was in his element when discussing Chinese dance and was happy to share his thoughts further. "Chinese dance itself has its own unique feeling of beauty, its way of moving the body, its own bearing, its own innate sort of cultural meaning. It fully brings out these Chinese cultural aesthetics. It's not just beautiful because it's beautiful, but the 5,000 years of Chinese civilization has so much inner content, with ups and downs, and all sorts of setbacks [that can be drawn on].

"I saw how ... they have given expression to these legendary stories, like Mulan, Yue Fei, and these stories that have the national hero feel about them. They brought these legends out again today. For example, in The Monkey King Triumphs--that was vivid and vigorous.

"When they were introducing this story, asking questions to the audience, many young children all yelled out 'Monkey King!' so everyone felt some resonance with this tale. Everyone already knowing about this is excellent, no matter whether they are inside or outside of China.

"Through their efforts, they have given a perfect presentation of the aesthetics and beauty of China... because there's no way to present this whole 5,000 years of our Chinese civilization in just one night, so I know Shen Yun is always working so hard, doing this year after year."

Mainland Chinese Take Tour to Attend Shen Yun

With 2009, its third year in Australia, Shen Yun had already developed a solid reputation in the community. As a result of word-of-mouth from previous performances in Melbourne, this year many people came from Victoria's capital to Geelong for the performance.

Many, including a good proportion of Chinese people, came as part of a Shen Yun "one day tour," where originally only one bus was organized, but two more were added when demand exceeded supply. One hundred and fifty people took the journey from Melbourne to Geelong, passing through Werribee, stopping for lunch, and then coming to see Shen Yun. They were happy with their journey, and enthralled with the performance. Many of them went out of their way to make clear that they felt it was worth the trip, and that they'd tell their friends and family for next year.

Ms. Liang and her partner came from Zhejiang Province in China to Melbourne to work on their Masters' Degrees. On April 4, they took the tour to see Shen Yun Performing Arts.

They were asked what made them decide to come along and see the show. "[The advertisements] said this performance was very refined, moving, and displayed China's most traditional, upright culture, so I wanted to come and take a look," Ms. Liang explained.

"Seeing it, I feel that it's really moving. That kind of really elegant dancing, I feel that is something for us to appreciate. I'm expecting there will be even more exciting programs in the next half!" she shared at intermission.

Her partner, who wanted to remain anonymous, said Mulan was his favourite program. He said that he also enjoyed the dancing very much.

A mainland Chinese who had recently arrived and who did not wish to be identified said, "This sort of performance would be banned in the mainland, and we'd never get a chance to see this kind of thing, absolutely not. It's the Chinese [outside the mainland] who have to carry this forward."

Ms. Liu, her friend, was willing to give her name and speak. She had been in Australia for two years, and had similar feelings. "Chinese classical dance allows Westerners to appreciate the essence of Chinese culture. Performing it here, it feels different--but these works can give Westerners an insight into our culture. They can all understand it, so this display is already perfect. It also makes us Chinese very proud!"

The guiding mission of Shen Yun Performing Arts is to rediscover and renew humanity's true, rightful cultural heritage. The company thus creates and performs works that center upon the true, divinely bestowed culture of humankind.

Source: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/14772/