As Shen Yun Performing Arts continues its tour of Eastern Canada, the acclaimed New York-based classical Chinese dance company has played 10 sold-out and full-house shows in Mississauga and Ottawa since Dec. 20.
In addition, five shows scheduled for Montreal starting Jan. 3 are now sold out, while the Jan. 8 Quebec show sold out three weeks ago. Tickets are also selling fast for Vancouver’s five-show run starting Jan. 10.
Since its first Canadian shows in 2006, seeing Shen Yun has become a yearly tradition for many showgoers eager to embark on a journey through China’s long and storied history.
Shen Yun produces an all-new lineup each year, delighting audiences with its portrayal of China’s authentic traditional culture through music and dance.
Many have commented on the hope and positivity Shen Yun instills in its multifaceted performances and teary eyes are mixed with expressions of wonder at every show.
Filmmaker, artist, and fine-art photographer Richard Austin had high praise for Shen Yun after seeing the Dec. 29 show in Ottawa.
“It’s magnificent. So unexpected, and so much energy and power and artistry,” said Mr. Austin, who has had his photography exhibited internationally and has made over a dozen short films including “At Last” and the award-winning documentary “Heather Crowe’s Legacy.”
“I’m amazed at the performance of the dancers … so much beauty and synchronicity,” he added. “It’s really beautiful and it’s quite expressive how the story is told through movement and colour.”
The hallmark of Shen Yun is classical Chinese dance, an art form developed over 5,000 years of Chinese history. The continually evolving dance system is one of the most complex and complete in the world, and those with an eye for dance express amazement at the agility and technique of the dancers.
Barbara Grose, former ballet dancer trained with the National Ballet of Canada, had a career that saw her go from dance to television and then on to promotions, but throughout her life she has maintained her love of live performance.
“I am overwhelmed by the technique of their talent, it’s absolutely amazing. Of course, these people are very, very young too, and supple bodies, but the training is there,” she said of the dancers.
“The costumes are absolutely exquisite. The technique of the dancers is A1—I know, because I have been there. I am just very, very pleased.”
It’s really beautiful and it’s quite expressive how the story is told through movement and colour.
— Filmmaker and fine-art photographer Richard Austin
Jack Dheer, Rogers TV station manager and expert on all things audial and visual, was particularly impressed with the production values found in Shen Yun.
“The visuals—that just captures your eyes, it’s just beautiful. I have to tell you the music is just phenomenal. I think the orchestra is excellent. Everything—visually and the audio—it’s just absolutely beautiful,” he said.
Mr. Dheer, named Mississauga’s Citizen of the Year in 2005, has been working in television for 15 years. He reflected on the amount of work needed to produce something on the scale of Shen Yun.
“I think this has taken years to put together because there are so many aspects to it. And each and every part is so well choreographed and synchronized. And it’s great storytelling without any voice. I just don’t have words for it. It’s phenomenal,” he said.
Experience to Remember
Having made numerous fans over the years, there are many who return year after year to witness Shen Yun’s particular brand of magic.
“I enjoyed it so much last year, I didn’t want to miss it,” said Greg Kells, president and CEO of business brokerage firm Sunbelt Canada, who last year brought his entire staff to see Shen Yun.
“The dancing is fantastic, perfection, the music wonderful, and the show uplifting spiritually,” he said.
Long-time fan David Kilgour, a former Canadian cabinet minister and Crown prosecutor who has also served as Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific and Secretary of State for Latin America and Africa, has seen Shen Yun for seven years running.
“I’m inspired differently and more every time I see it,” he said. “It’s uplifting. It’s fabulous for the senses.”
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s New York Company will next visit Montreal for five shows Jan. 3-6 before playing in Quebec City, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Hamilton, and then completing its eastern Canadian tour in Toronto Jan. 17-20. Shen Yun’s Touring Company will be in Vancouver Jan. 10-13.
For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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