VANCOUVER—Brazilian-born Andrea Monteiro has performed cultural dance her entire life, but she took a turn in the audience’s seat on Sunday for the Shen Yun Performing Arts show at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.
Ms. Monteiro, a dancer, instructor, and choreographer with Vancouver-based performance group Aché Brasil, said the show was “amazing.”
“I love Shen Yun,” she said in Chinese, practicing a phrase she had learned from the show.
“I think it’s very classy and I like how the [dancers] are very flexible. It’s really nice. I really like the colours too, how they put it together.”
Ms. Monteiro has been dancing all her life, starting ballet at the age of five in Sao Paulo. She went on to study acting, voice, and circus performance with Cia Litero Dramatica Martins Pena and has performed with a variety of groups and as a solo performer in Brazil, China, and Canada.
She currently works with Aché Brasil, a critically-acclaimed company that tours North America performing Brazilian cultural music and dance as well as Capoeira martial arts. The group was recently nominated for Live Performers of the Year at the West Coast Music Awards.
Ms. Monteiro said she appreciated the expressivity of classical Chinese dance.
“It really shows how the women are feminine and how the men are powerful, strong,” she said. “They really show their personality, and the music is fantastic. It’s beautiful.”
Although Classical Chinese dance includes many challenging flips, leaps, and tumbling techniques, Ms. Monteiro said it remains soft and graceful.
“They’re very soft and smooth,” she said of the dancers. “They are obviously very talented.”
New York-based Shen Yun is a classical Chinese dance and music company with the mission to revive 5,000 years of traditional 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 repressive communist regime.
Through story-based classical Chinese and ethnic or folk dance inspired by the country’s historic legends and stories, Shen Yun aims to express the very essence of traditional Chinese culture.
“It’s a great show,” said Ms. Monteiro. “I find it really, really beautiful how they put it all together.”
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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