Friday, April 11, 2014

Shen Yun

The weather in Wellington hasn’t been great over the last few days. Yesterday it rained and rained, the day before and today it’s drizzling non-stop, and the 10-day forecast does not contain a “sun” symbol. Autumn is definitely here, and with it comes more indoor-based entertainment options.

We went to see Shen Yun at the St James Theatre. We started off with dinner at Zibibbo – a last-gasp usage of the 2013/14 entertainment book, as we await delivery of the new one for the coming year. Zibibbo specialise in modern European-oriented food – last year we went there for their inaugural d├ęgustation menu during Wellington On A Plate, and very good it was too.

The dancing is billed as Classical Chinese, folk and ethnic dances. Many of the dances tell a story - which was explained to us by the somewhat cheesy MC before each number (and, presumably, slightly less cheesily in Chinese by the lady MC). There were also performances from two Chinese opera singers, a soprano and a tenor. The dances make use of a lot of flowing silk and ribbons as well as swirly costumes, all very brightly coloured. Interspersed with the "classical" pieces were more modern dances, which thumped home the point that was somehow omitted from any of their promotional literature, which is that all the dancers and the dance company are all followers of Falun Gong, and persecuted in China.

In the interval, we were approached by a slightly creepy Jehovah's Witness-style representative who asked us if we wanted to be "interviewed" about tonight's show. We both politely declined.

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