Falun Gong Association UK & Tang Arts present: Shen Yun
The best of traditional Chinese culture in a colourful gala event of dance and music
New London Theatre, Tuesday 3rd – Saturday 7th March 2009
Edinburgh Playhouse, Wednesday 8th April 2009
Following the success of four sell-out shows at London’s Royal Festival Hall in February 2008, New York based Divine Performing Arts return to the UK in March and April 2009 with an all-new programme and an extended run, including performances in London and Edinburgh. This showcase of authentic Chinese performing arts is part of a wider global tour and is presented in a spectacular multi-media gala event. Featuring 100 performers, including a live orchestra, the company evokes spirit, virtue and freedom of belief through an uplifting mix of dance, music and animated projection.
Inspired by ancient Chinese culture, performances by Divine Performing Arts have the spiritual heritage of China at their heart. Featuring story-based dances – one of the company’s trademarks – which draw on ancient legends and current topics, the shows are divided into a number of individual acts, each telling a story, or presenting a vision of China’s rich dance heritage. Two presenters lead through the gala, explaining and introducing each section in Chinese and English.
Strictly authentic classical Chinese dance – one of the richest dance heritages in the world – forms an integral part of the Shen Yun show, and is complemented through folk and ethnic dance styles. The gala’s graceful routines range from large-scale dances, with dozens of performers moving in synchronised patterns, to delicate solo performances, all linked through masterful choreography.
The accompanying 40-strong orchestra fuses Western and Chinese classical traditions and instrumentation. The music performed is original and especially composed for Divine Performing Arts. It is distinguished by its harmonic balance of Western classical composition, which is marked by precision and order, with the free form, melody-driven music of Chinese culture, which uses a series of ancient five-, seven-, and eight-note scales.
Instrumental and vocal solo interludes form another integral part of the Divine Performing Arts experience, and feature, amongst other instruments, the stirring, otherworldly tones of the erhu (Chinese violin) as well as singers with piano accompaniment presenting impassioned arias that evoke a tremendous sense of spirituality and bring to life traditional Chinese thought and belief.
The shows combine ancient technique and artistry with the latest technology in the form of striking digital background scenery, projecting images, often animated, of rustic Buddhist temples, majestic Chinese palaces and sprawling Mongolian grassland. Each backdrop is custom-designed to match perfectly the choreography of the dance, as well as its costumes, story line, lighting, and music.
The intricately handmade costumes burst with colour and range from radiant orange and golden hued Tang dynasty gowns, to dragon-emblazoned imperial robes and delicate phoenix headpieces. Tremendous attention and care goes into every detail, and extensive historical research informs the whole design, extending to a months-long gathering of just the right materials.
Xiu Guo, Company Manager, said: “By presenting an experience that’s truly authentic, pure and beautiful, we aim to capture the substance and spirit of pre-modern China’s classical culture. We would like to think the show will provide you with not only an artistic feast, but also a deeper appreciation for the beauty of China’s divinely-inspired culture.”
Divine Performing Arts came into being in 2006 and consists of three dance companies, two orchestras and a host of choreographers, composers, costume designers, backdrop artists and artistic staff. Divine Performing Arts has already graced many of the world’s greatest stages and now tours over 70 cities worldwide. For more information: www.divineperformingarts.org or www.divineshows.co.uk.
For further PRESS INFORMATION and images please contact:
John Smithies on firstname.lastname@example.org / 07503 756862 (London)
Rosemary Byfield on email@example.com / 07525 739412 (Edinburgh)
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