HAMILTON, Canada—Sunday night marked Shen Yun Performing Arts’ last show of the year at Hamilton Place Theatre, and it attracted many artists who came to enjoy the colourful and uplifting classical dance and music of the world-renowned company.
Among them was dancer Anasdiya Tomilova who just recently moved to Hamilton. At the young age of 18, she has been dancing for the past 13 years and has performed in various venues as part of the MAOF Dance School in Israel.
On Sunday, Ms. Tomilova was impressed by the colourful performances as well as the dancers’ superior artistry. “The technique was amazing,” she said.
New-York based Shen Yun presents works of classical Chinese dance, which alongside ballet is one of the most comprehensive dance systems in the world.
The dance form requires strict systematic training in form, technique, and bearing. Due to its long history, classical Chinese dance has also acquired a rich repertoire of movements, which allow it to express any character or story.
One aspect that fascinated Ms. Tomilova was the coordination of Shen Yun’s dancers. She said that the cooperation was amazing. “It was all unique, almost like it was one person dancing out there,” she said.
Classical Chinese dance also features many challenging techniques, such as leaps, turns, flips, spins, as well as more aerial and tumbling techniques. Ms. Tomilova noted their difficulty, but also their beauty. “It’s just so pretty,” she said.
She was also impressed by the flow of the dancers’ movements, as well as the manner in which the costumes were integrated with the dances, such as the use of the long sleeve. “It just added to the overall picture. It was amazing,” she said.
In its performances, Shen Yun features an equal number of male and female dancers. Ms. Tomolova was impressed by both, but was particularly surprised to see the men.
“The guys were amazing. I never saw guys dancing like this before, never,” she said.
The demeanour of the female dancers also stood out for her. “They were also flexible and so calm on stage,” she said. “And they were smiling when they needed to smile, and had a serious face whenever they needed to put serious face on.”
Ms. Tomilova said the body language and the facial expression are the most important aspects of a dance, allowing the dancers to convey a message to the audience. “And in the show it was just so meaningful and so powerful,” she said.
“It just looks amazing. I would love to dance it,” said Ms. Tomolova of classical Chinese dance.
Reporting by Becky Zhou and Madalina Hubert.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s New York Company performed three shows in Hamilton Jan. 12-13 and is now heading to Toronto for five shows Jan. 17-20, completing its tour of eastern Canada. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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