Divine Performing Arts
Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Friday 22 – Sunday 24 Feb 2008
Friday 7.30pm • Saturday 2.30pm & 7.30pm • Sunday 5pm
Tickets £15 £20 £30 £40 £55
In the ONLY UK dates, this extraordinary new live event with over 100 dedicated dancers, singers and musicians of the highest professional calibre as well as a live orchestra from New York based Divine Performing Arts, spreads over four performances in three days at the Royal Festival Hall in February 2008.
The 50-member orchestra exclusively accompanying Shen Yun, gives traditional Chinese music a modern twist, combining the otherworldly melodies of the erhu (Chinese violin) and the guzhen (zither) with Western instrumentation. The especially composed music for the show is a harmonic balance of the well ordered western classical composition with the free form melody driven music of Chinese culture, using a series of very ancient five-, seven- and eight-note scales.
Some of the most striking parts of the Shen Yun show are its masterful choreography and the graceful dance routines, ranging from grand classical processions to ethnic folk and large-scale dances, with dozens of performers moving in stunning synchronized patterns. Acrobatic leaps, dragons and thunderous drums complement the programme and make this a tantalising and fascinating experience for audiences of all backgrounds and age groups.
Based on ancient heroic legends, pious tales and fables from the Tang, Song and Qing Dynasties, as well as modern material, performances feature a number of individual acts each telling their own story and collectively encapsulating the history of a multi-faceted country with a varied and astonishing cultural heritage. Performances are explained and introduced in Chinese and English through a narrator / translator.
The show combines ancient technique and artistry with majestic stage design and is supported by striking background scenery, including dazzling projected images of Buddhist temples, mountains, Mongolian grassland, Chinese palaces and the billowing seas. Eye-catching effects are achieved when the images are animated, i.e. depicting snowfall covering the countryside or clouds moving across the sky.
The colourful and intricately designed handmade costumes worn by the ‘fairy maidens’, ‘brave warriors’ and ‘loyal souls’ are a unique part of this production. Designers take great pride in their meticulous research from books, paintings, frescoes and statues in order to get the look absolutely right, depending on the period in which the dramatic dances and stories are set.
New York-based Divine Performing Arts is dedicated to fostering an understanding between people of Chinese and other cultures and to bringing back the lost arts of ancient Chinese culture to the modern stage and an international audience. 2008 marks the fifth year of the Chinese Spectacular, which began in 2004 with only five performances, but rapidly expanded and now tours over 50 cities worldwide.
Choreographer Ms Yung Yung Tsuai said:
“Shen Yun is offering up a truly tantalising variety of dance, featuring all-new dance troupes and drawing upon 5,000 years of history and a vast range of different folk traditions from Mongolia to Tibet to the Yunnan region of China.
“The Spectacular is a particularly meaningful production for a lot of people because over the last 100 years, much of China’s rich traditional culture has been destroyed. People have lost their roots. Our performers want wholeheartedly to convey their culture and traditions to the audience to remind them, and themselves, of who the Chinese are.”
Shen Yun is recommended for ages 4+
For further PRESS INFORMATION and images please contact Sabine Kindel on +44 (0)7850 760 006 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Royal Festival Hall Ticket Office 10am-8pm daily (no transaction fee)
Telephone 0871 663 2500, 9am-8pm daily (£2 transaction fee)
Book online www.southbankcentre.co.uk (£1.50 transaction fee)
Tickets £55 £40 £30 £20 £15
(Limited half-price tickets available for benefit recipients)
Group Booking: 10 or more 10 % / 20 or more 15 %
Family Package: book minimum of 4 tickets, incl. at least one under-16 child 10 %
VIP Package: premium seat, souvenir programme & interval champagne. (Limited availability). Call 0844 482 1968