VANCOUVER, Canada—Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre resounded with applause, laughter, and delight as Shen Yun Performing Arts graced the stage for the first of five shows on Thursday night.
The New York-based performing arts group has played in Vancouver every year since 2006 and audience response and attendance indicates that Shen Yun is becoming a household name in the city.
Retired physician David Harris attended was impressed with many aspects of the opening show.
“I found it so different from anything that I expected and so interesting,” he said. “And certainly, right from the get go, you appreciate the athleticism, the purity, and the amazing training that these performers have done.”
Shen Yun’s dancers are all highly trained in Chinese Classical dance, an art form that is 5,000 years old and one of the most comprehensive dance systems in the world. Shen Yun is leading a revival of this art, and its dancers undergo rigorous training to achieve the technical perfection necessary to perform.
“Unbelievable, the dancing, when you watch it,” he said.
“You see the Chinese influence that went into other countries probably thousands of years ago,” he said referring to Classical Chinese dance’s influence on other ethnic dance styles around the world.
“The Chinese dance can be seen in other cultures. I found that really, really fascinating, actually.”
Another aspect of the show that has impressed audiences is the digital backdrop that accompanies each performance.
With state-of-the-art graphics technology, Shen Yun’s digital-backdrop team creates vividly animated settings, extending the stage and transporting the audience to a world where heaven and earth are one according, to its website.
Mr. Harris described the backdrop as “awesome,” adding the way in which that backdrop is choreographed in real time with the performers was fabulous.
Shen Yun’s music is unique in the performing arts world, combining Western and Eastern musical traditions together to form a hybrid sound that synchronizes perfectly with the dancers on stage.
“I quite enjoyed the music; very, very much so,” said Mr. Harris.
Shen Yun employs solo singers trained in the Bel Canto style of singing, a highly difficult vocal technique.
Mr. Harris had special praise for tenor Tian Ge. “I appreciated the voice of the singers. The tenor, I thought, was excellent. It’s quite different from what we’re use to. I enjoyed it, I really did.”
“If you haven’t seen it or heard about it, you won’t realize what it’s like until you’re there.” Mr. Harris added as a final reflection on the show.
“I thought it was really, really well done.”
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s Touring Company will play 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. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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