MONTREAL—Cláudia and Mauro Romero and their 9-year-old daughter all expressed delight with Shen Yun Performing Arts following the company’s sold-out Saturday matinee show at Place des Arts on Jan. 5.
Mr. and Mrs. Romero, who both work in the field of marketing, talked about some delightful surprises they found in watching the acclaimed classical Chinese dance and music production.
“Actually, it is much more than I thought it would be, in beauty and humour,” said Mrs. Romero, a university professor in marketing.
“I didn’t expect to understand so easily the histories,” she noted.
New York-based Shen Yun was founded in 2006 with a mission of reviving China’s 5,000 years of divinely inspired culture.
Each year its three touring companies travel the world with an all-new lineup of dances, songs, and musical scores, telling stories from China’s long history and diverse regions and ethnicities while remaining true to the virtues and spiritual essence of the ancient culture.
Referring to the company’s striking state-of-the-art animated backdrops, Mrs.Romero said that “it’s like a theatre.”
The digital projections are designed to complement and synchronize with all aspects of each performance, including the characters, colours of the costumes, dance movements, props, lighting, storyline, audio efforts, and even particular notes played by the orchestra.
“I thought it was only a dance in play, [but rather it presents] images of theatre, and with the histories to understand, and a sense of humour that is fantastic, surprising,” said Mrs. Romero.
Her brother, who runs his own marketing company, agreed.
“It surprised me too, because the elegance and the humour and the many videos—it was very, very impressive,” Mr. Romero said.
“It made me calm, just for my soul to reflect more,” he added.
Mrs. Romero said she particularly enjoyed the backdrops and dances that depicted interaction between water and the air, along with the scenes that featured figures descending from the screen to appear as real-life dancers on the stage, and vice versa.
“The actors came from the water, and it seemed so real, and then suddenly they are on the stage, and they are flying. … It’s fantastic,” she said.
She said she was sure it was a good idea to bring her daughter, Carolina.
“It’s fantastic as well to see how our daughter loved it, because all the time she was holding my hand and looking at me so amazed. It was fantastic for me because I didn’t expect she would love it so much,” Mrs. Romero said.
“She loved it, especially the singers. I didn’t think she could love opera, and she was completely [absorbed] with the opera,” Mrs. Romero added, referring to Shen Yun’s vocal soloists who sing Chinese lyrics using the bel canto operatic singing technique.
She asked Carolina to grade the show between 0 and 10, and the 9-year-old said, “20.”
Carolina said she liked all the dances and songs in the show, especially An Early Spring, a folk dance from northeastern China in which the dancers twirl colourful handkerchiefs to paint a lively picture of flowers and fresh shoots unfurling to usher in the change of season.
“They are like roses,” Carolina said of the dancers.
By Mathieu Côté-Desjardins and Cindy Chan.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s New York Company will play five shows in Montreal Jan. 3-6 and one show in Quebec City Jan. 8 before going on to Kitchener-Waterloo, and Toronto in its tour of eastern Canada.
For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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