TORONTO—Friday night was another cold night in the city. A thin layer of snow covered the ground, but the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts was lit up with the warmth of song and dance. Shen Yun Performing Arts, the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music company, gave its second performance in the city and the mood was bright.
In the audience was Larry Wilson, a member of the National Board of the American Chamber of Commerce and commercial realtor for CB Richard Ellis Limited. For 17 years, his office was right across the Sony Centre, the venue formerly known as the O’Keefe Centre and later the Hummingbird Centre. He felt on familiar ground that night.
He was also captivated by the music, having grown up in a musical family.
“I would pay twice the money just for the music,” Mr. Wilson said. Among his family members is an uncle who was a concert pianist for 38 years and a niece who runs the Brock University music program.
“I grew up with great music around me,” he said.
“I think the precision of the music and the emotion…not only did it vary but it was incredibly powerful,” he said of Shen Yun’s live orchestra.
Shen Yun’s orchestra is unique in its ability to seamlessly blend a philharmonic Western orchestra with Chinese instruments. The result is a fresh sound that brings out the best of both traditions.
The trumpet player especially caught Mr. Wilson’s ear. “I think you better give the trumpet player a raise. I’ll say that right out of the gate.”
However it was not just the music that impressed him that night, but the way it was integrated in the whole performance.
Mr. Wilson said he was stunned by the way Shen Yun brings “the media [the animated backdrop], the precision and silence of the dance and the power of the music together.”
“It’s just, it’s been a terrific evening,” he said.
Established in 2006 by a group of overseas Chinese artists, the New York based Shen Yun has set out “to reclaim and renew the true, divinely-inspired cultural heritage of China,” according to the company’s mission statement.
Mr. Wilson was impressed by this mission and its manifestation on stage.
“To bring 5,000 years of Chinese history to a larger audience, I think does wonders for this country and this continent,” he said.
Mr. Wilson sincerely hoped that the company continues to grow and wished it “the very best success in the coming years.”
“I will be back,” he said.
When asked how he would describe the show to his friends, Mr. Wilson said, “You better get a ticket.”
“Honestly, I would describe it as an experience that you will find nowhere else, and it’s something you better put on your bucket list very soon,” he said.
Reporting by NTD Television and Madalina Hubert.
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
The Epoch Times publishes in 35 countries and in 21 languages. Subscribe to our e-newsletter.