TORONTO—The high quality of Shen Yun Performing Arts’ depiction of China’s ancient culture made a big impression on a family of pastors who saw the show at Toronto’s Sony Centre on Saturday afternoon.
John Aberhardt, senior pastor at Burlington Christian Fellowship, attended the acclaimed classical Chinese dance and music performance with his wife, Pastor Evadnie Aberhardt.
The couple was accompanied by their daughter, Pastor Andrea Aberhardt, who serves as the youth and music director at the fellowship, along with Andrea’s two daughters, Naomi and Johanna.
“I thought it was excellent. I thought it was colourful and very skilled and with a deep meaning,” Mr. Aberhardt said after the show.
He added that he also enjoyed the dance. Classical Chinese dance, the hallmark of Shen Yun, is grounded in 5,000 years of divinely inspired culture. It is a dance art form built upon a deep foundation of traditional aesthetics, according to the Shen Yun website.
“Excellent. It was excellent, classy,” Mr. Aberhardt said.
His wife also praised the multifaceted performance.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the show,” said Mrs. Aberhardt. “The costumes, the colours—everything was exquisite.”
“It was very graceful,” added their daughter, Ms. Aberhardt.
“The dancers, the costumes were exquisite, the colours were so vibrant, the dancing was exceptional. I really enjoyed it.”
“Very tasteful,” said Mr. Aberhardt.
“Yes, very tasteful,” agreed his daughter. “It just had a grace, an elegance to it. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen a production of this calibre and it was lovely. I really enjoyed it.”
The dancers, the costumes were exquisite, the colours were so vibrant, the dancing was exceptional. I really enjoyed it.
—Pastor Andrea Aberhardt
New York-based Shen Yun also includes vocal soloists, who use the bel canto vocal technique while singing Chinese lyrics, which is not easily accomplished and is “unparalleled” in the music world today, the Shen Yun website states.
“The singing, the opera, was really good,” said Mrs. Aberhardt.
The soloists sing in Chinese while the English translation is projected onto the backdrop.
“Showing the meaning of the words … was very effective,” said Mr. Aberhardt.
Mr. Aberhardt explained that it was Naomi and Johanna who persuaded the family to go to the show. They had seen it advertised at a local mall and were very impressed.
“I liked the colours,” said Johanna when asked if she enjoyed the show.
“I liked the colours and the dancing,” said Naomi, adding, “I liked the dancing and the singing.”
Ms. Aberhardt said Johanna was planning to bring a Shen Yun poster to school for show and tell.
“She’s going to show the poster when she goes to show and share. Apparently there was a little boy, George, he went to see [the show] and he brought [the poster] to school and showed it to the class.”
Reporting by Matthew Little and Joan Delaney
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Following 21 successful shows Dec. 20-Jan. 13 in Mississauga, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Hamilton, Shen Yun’s New York Company is in Toronto for five shows Jan. 17-20, completing its tour of eastern Canada. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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