TORONTO—Property developer and businessman Alfredo Romano found Shen Yun Performing Arts mesmerizing at its opening night at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts Thursday.
“I thought it was exceptional. Really nice surprise because I wasn’t expecting that kind of a performance. Love the absolute mix of the classical and the traditional dance, music, and the costuming, choreography—wonderful, excellent. Really, really enjoyed it.”
Mr. Romano helped found Castlepoint Realty Partners with his cousin Mario Romano in the late 1980s, a company that is now the largest private sector landowner of the Toronto Waterfront.
Castlepoint is now a major developer with projects across the GTA and in Philadelphia, New York, and Los Angeles. It specializes in rejuvenating historic sites, as well as brownfield reclamations like the Toronto waterfront.
Mr. Romano’s company is one of three behind the L Tower, whose the design promises to be an iconic feature on Toronto’s landscape at Yonge Street and Front Street East.
Castlepoint is also one of the developers behind a new $40 million expansion of Pinewood Toronto Studios, which promises a greater capacity for the Toronto film industry.
Mr. Romano said every dance Shen Yun staged was wonderful.
“I don’t think I can distinguish one from the other, they were all exceptional.”
Shen Yun presents performances of mainly classical Chinese dance, a tradition thousands of years old, passed down in imperial courts, Chinese opera houses, and among the people for thousands of years.
Shen Yun also stages ethnic dances from diverse Chinese ethnic groups and folk dances from the dominant Han ethnicity.
“The girls were amazing, it was phenomenal to see how disciplined they were, in synchrony, quite amazing. Very elegant, exquisite.”
He said Shen Yun’s digitally projected animated backdrop was an effective way to set each dance. He also enjoyed the role the scenes there played in the dance Sand Monk is Blessed. The dance tells the story of a monk’s adventures on a pilgrimage for Buddhist scriptures. In the dance, he and his companions come across a shape-shifting orgre.
Mr. Romano was quite taken by the night’s entertainment.
“I was mesmerized, quite mesmerized, I was in trance, really just fixated. I felt calm and serene, he said.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Matthew Little
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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