TORONTO—Former ballet dancer Rebecca Carroll has wanted to see Shen Yun Performing Arts for many years, and finally got her chance, thousands of miles away from home, at Sony Centre on Jan. 17.
Ms. Carroll, who studied ballet for 13 years, lives in Calgary but happened to be in Toronto for Shen Yun’s opening night.
“It’s very inspiring, and definitely I would go to another performance and maybe bring friends in the future to come and see,” she said after the evening show.
“I would just tell them it’s beautiful and that they have to see it, because it’s something unique that we don’t really get very much opportunity to see in Canada.”
Based on her dance experience, Ms. Carroll praised Shen Yun’s presentation of classical Chinese dance, with its lovely costumes and impeccable timing.
“Very synchronized and it’s just visually overall very beautiful,” she said. “The costumes are gorgeous.”
Ms. Carroll said that although she had quite some knowledge of Chinese culture she had never experienced classical Chinese dance and was very impressed with the challenging jumps and tumbling techniques mastered by the artists.
“I really like traditional dancing, and you can tell it takes a lot of [training],” she said.
“I’ve seen many ballets, never traditional Chinese dance, but it’s very beautiful and they’re very synchronized, their timing is very [good].”
New York-based Shen Yun is a world-renowned classical Chinese dance and music company with a mission to revive 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture.
Featuring classical Chinese as well as ethnic and folk dance, the performance showcases stories and legends spanning China’s history right up to today.
Ms. Carroll appreciated Shen Yun’s digitally animated backdrops, which act as an extension of the stage and sets the scene for the collection of story-based dances.
“It’s very interesting, it’s very cool, I’ve never seen anything like that before,” she said.
“It’s just bringing modern technology into the dance.”
Ms. Carroll said one of the most memorable moments in the show was a dance called Ancient Elegance, which features a group of graceful female dancers in perfect synchronization, wearing costumes with long, silken sleeves.
“Light and lovely, they glide like whispers on the wind, skillfully spinning with long silken sleeves,” explains the Shen Yun program book. “Their dainty steps and delicate forms evoke the epitome of feminine grace.”
Reporting by Christina Gao and Justina Wheale
Following 21 successful shows Dec. 20-Jan. 13 in Mississauga, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Hamilton, Shen Yun’s New York Company will play five shows in Toronto Jan. 17-20, completing its tour of eastern Canada. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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