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Monkey Magic - live on stage
Shen Yun (Chinese for "the beauty of divine beings dancing") is a spectacular stage show featuring classical Chinese dance, music and special effects, returning to Sydney for 7 shows at the Lyric Theatre in March. The unique performance brings the legends from 5,000 years of Chinese culture to life, mesmerising the audience in a dream-like experience.
Shen Yun 2016 in Sydney (image by Shen Yun Performing Arts)
Performing for over a decade, the Shen Yun Performing Arts Company tours around the world, entertaining audiences in the finest theatres in over 130 cities, including London, New York and Paris. The production features traditional Chinese acrobatic and graceful dance techniques to tell magical stories and fables. The haunting tones of the Erhu, a Chinese violin, echo over the audience between the solemn, operatic songs with spiritual and religious lyrics. The vocalists are award-winners, starring in films with their bold song. The beautifully designed costumes are another distinctive feature of Shen Yun. Colourfully portraying the range of characters defining Chinese history, the kings, queens, spirits, monsters and soldiers dance with the backdrop of digitally enhanced settings including Mongolian plains, regal courtyards, peaceful temples and lively villages.
Shen Yun's acrobatic dancer (image by Shen Yun Performing Arts)
While these elements excite the eyes and ears, the actual stories capture the heart. Highlights include the legend of Mulan, the story of a female warrior joining the army and using her martial arts talents and sword-craft, fighting with distinction but modestly refusing any award or recognition, desiring only to return home to her family when her duty was fulfilled.
Another is Journey to the West, considered one of the great books in Chinese literature, the story was featured on television in the popular series, Monkey Magic. It's about a monkey born from a magical stone, forced to journey with a monk, river ogre, pig and horse. They encounter a series of monsters and endure exciting adventures, travelling west on a journey for enlightenment, overseen by the Buddha.
The warriors of Shen Yun (image by Shen Yun Performing Arts)
Another special story is Outlaws of the Marsh, about banished spirits set free fight foreign invaders. The tension of their freedom as they waver between loyalty and anarchy creates generates compelling dancing.
The archers of Shen Yun (image by Shen Yun Performing Arts)
After developing a loyal following in Australia, Shen Yun returns to Sydney from Tuesday, 8 March to Sunday, 13 March for 7 shows, at 1pm, 2pm and 7.30pm. The show is staged at Sydney's Lyric Theatre.
Prices begin at $89 for adults and $69 for concession card holders. To book, visit ticketmaster.