VANCOUVER, Canada—Painters, musicians, and art lovers of all kinds were at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Thursday, for the opening performance of Shen Yun Performing Arts.
Vancouver-based mixed-media artist Cathy Ludgate, whose work has been featured in exhibits in the lower mainland, attended the Jan. 10 performance with her husband George and praised Shen Yun’s colour-rich production.
“The colour was beautiful,” she said. “I like the performance, it was very good.”
“We enjoyed the whole show,” added her husband, a computer engineer at CIO System Development Guild Inc.
New York-based Shen Yun is the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music company. A grand production featuring story-based dance dramas, a live orchestra including traditional Chinese instruments, vocal performances, and digital backdrops, Shen Yun’s mission is to revive 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture.
Music teacher Stephanie Lovick was also at the Jan. 10 performance and said Shen Yun was a triumph.
“Brilliant staging, superb professional timing, brilliant use of colour,” she said.
“So much thought went in this that it is impressive from beginning to end, never a second that there wasn’t something interesting visually.”
Mrs. Lovick was very impressed with Shen Yun’s philharmonic orchestra which incorporates several traditional Chinese instruments. All music featured in the orchestra, as well as the bel canto style operatic solos sung in Chinese lyrics, are original Shen Yun compositions.
“Musically, my full compliments to the minds that put this together,” she said. “It allows the expression of traditional Chinese culture but is paced for Western audiences—very very cleverly done.”
Mrs. Lovick was also captivated with the use of distinctly Chinese props in Shen Yun dances, which emphasized the unique movements of classical Chinese or ethnic and folk dance.
One of her favourite props were the bowls delicately balanced on female dancers heads in Mongolian Bowl Dance. According to the Shen Yun program book this traditional Mongolian dance captures the “strong yet gentle” character of Mongolian women.
“Since I have enjoyed music and dance as a hobby, I am fascinated by the effective use of costuming and the effective use of little props,” said Mrs. Lovick. “The girls, whether [they used] scarves or [handkerchiefs] or the bowls, it was really, really effective, a full spectrum for the evening.”
Mrs. Lovick was left feeling uplifted by the performance.
“It’s very energizing because they give so much energy,” she said. “It is really a first class production.”
Reporting by NTD Television, Fany Qiu and Justina Wheale.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s Touring Company will be in Vancouver until Jan. 13, while the New York Company will complete its tour of eastern Canada with five shows in Toronto from Jan. 17–20. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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