A taste of China

ONE of the most renowned theatrical celebrations of China, Shen Yun, will return to Canberra next Friday for the eighth time in a row.

Utilising the country's rich history and vast culture, and through song and dance, the production takes the audience on a journey through dynasties and regions, and all without leaving Canberra Theatre.

Legends, myths and heroes of literary classics spring to life and the variety of dances fill the stage with colour and energy.

The aerial acrobatics are jaw-dropping and the battle drums and soaring voices are all set to animated backdrops.

The production, out of New York, is a powerful portrayal of ancient China and one not to be missed.

Most critics say the first thing that impresses most audience members is Shen Yun's costumes: brilliant colours, splendid designs and everything from imperial dragon robes and phoenix coronets to swirling blue cloud capes. Each outfit is hand-made and inspired by traditional Chinese designs and concepts.

All the costumes are complimented by digital backdrops which use state-of-the-art graphics technology to extend the stage.

The true hero of the production, however, is the music.

Shen Yun's orchestra couples a regular set of Western symphony instruments-like the violins, flutes, and trumpets that we know - with traditional Chinese instruments like the two-stringed erhu and the singular-sounding suona.

The music of Shen Yun are original compositions and melds the spirit and distinctiveness of Chinese music with the precision and power of the Western symphony orchestra. Through that eclectic mix of music, Shen Yun's dancers bring to life moving tales and stories from ancient China, drawing on more than 5000 years of history.

These stories depict the divine origins of the Chinese culture, showing a rich tapestry of the heroes and villains that inhabit the Chinese imagination.

Shen Yun will be performing at the Canberra Theatre from April 4-5 for three shows only. Call 6275 2700 or visit CanberraTheatreCentre.com to book tickets.

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