VANCOUVER—As the owner of a luxury corporate cruise line, Sherry Turchyn is used to experiencing exotic far-flung locales.
But she didn’t need to leave Vancouver to experience the sights and sounds of ancient China that were presented by Shen Yun Performing Arts on Sunday at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.
Ms. Turchyn said the beauty and sincerity of the performers moved her beyond words.
“I found depth to the performance,” she said.
“There was an eloquence that they expressed in their dance as they interpreted all the years of civilization in Chinese culture. I found it very beautiful and very expressive. It was a feeling more than just a visual—I fully appreciated it.”
Ms. Turchyn founded Luxury Corporate Cruises in 2001, which specializes in customizing exclusive events on cruise ships. As a seasoned events organizer, Ms. Turchyn said Shen Yun’s production was spectacular and a complete success.
“I was absolutely thrilled to be able to attend initially and now have to say I am so pleased I came,” she said.
“I just can’t say enough about everything. They deserve a lot of praise and I commend each and every one of [the artists].”
New York-based Shen Yun is a world-renowned classical Chinese dance and music company formed by overseas Chinese artists in 2006 with the mission to revive 5,000 years of traditional, divinely inspired Chinese culture.
According to the Shen Yun website, China’s cherished traditional culture and art forms have been systematically destroyed during 60 years of various campaigns waged by the Chinese communist regime.
Ms. Turchyn said the dancers and artists are so passionate and dedicated to reviving their culture that it radiates out from the stage and touches the audience.
“There’s a sincerity that comes out when they dance,” she said.
“There’s genuine effort that comes out when they’re performing. There’s a skill and a talent, but the feeling goes beyond that—the feeling goes beyond their talent and expression of dance. It’s a depth of appreciation of who they are and what they represent, their culture.
“They’re true to it and I feel that. It’s not my culture and yet they drew me into it and I’m very grateful.”
The music from Shen Yun’s original orchestra, which features traditional Chinese instruments leading the melody, also radiates this sincerity and passion, said Ms. Turchyn.
“The music has its own originality. It’s soft and gentle and yet it’s strong in terms of sincerity,” she said.
“It’s almost unexplainable. Again it goes back to being a feeling that you sense. The power of what they believe, the beauty within which they can express it, and that’s all a dedication to the Chinese culture.”
Ms. Turchyn was also surprised and delighted by Shen Yun’s collection of story-based dances. Spanning China’s long history, Shen Yun features legends and stories that capture the essence of traditional Chinese culture, through classical Chinese and ethnic or folk dance.
“It was a really delightful surprise,” she said.
“I thought it was going to be just dance like so many [other] performance are, and yet it incorporated so much more that made it all the more fulfilling.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Justina Wheale
Shen Yun’s Touring Company travels to the U.S. after having completed five shows in Vancouver Jan. 10-13, while the New York Company will complete its tour of eastern Canada with five shows in Toronto Jan. 17–20.
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