OTTAWA, Canada—On Friday night, the dancing of Shen Yun Performing Arts impressed two dancers who watched the second sold out show at the National Arts Centre in downtown Ottawa.
Nicole Grant started learning classical ballet when she was three and perfected her craft until she turned 21. Her friend Alex, a Russian folk dancer, arrived in Canada just one month ago for a visit. He started dancing when he was 10 and says he has been dancing for 25 years.
Describing Shen Yun’s dancers he said, “It was amazing. I loved it, everybody.”
Alongside ballet, classical Chinese dance is one of the most comprehensive dance systems in the world, with a set of extensive and strict training methods in both physical expression and specific postures.
Shen Yun’s dances take the audience on a journey through China’s ancient civilization right up to the present using classical Chinese dance, while also showcasing ethnic dances from China’s diverse regions and folk dances of the majority Han ethnicity.
Ms. Grant said she focuses on the female dancers’ upper body and hand gestures. “There’s a specific way that they use their hands and their fingers, it’s very beautiful,” she said.
“I liked the one with the lotus flowers at the end” [Divine Mercy] she said and explained that it gave her a feeling of happiness. “The technique, the jumps—It was very beautiful, very different,” Ms. Grant said.
Based in New York, Shen Yun has three touring companies on a mission to revive China’s 5,000 years of divinely inspired culture.
The music is provided by a full orchestra that incorporates traditional Chinese instruments in one harmonious blend of the original scores.
Ms. Grant said, “For the dancers, as well for the audience, it’s uplifting to hear something that is not generated.”
Reporting by Crystal Yin and Pam McLennan.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s New York Company will be in Ottawa until Dec. 30 before going on to Montreal, Toronto, and other cities in eastern Canada.
For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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