OTTAWA, Canada—James Ferguson and his wife, Meg, found much to appreciate in the authentic Chinese culture presented by Shen Yun Performing Arts on Saturday night.
The two took in Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company’s fourth show at the National Arts Centre in the nation’s capital.
Mr. Ferguson, a manager at Trillium College and Mrs. Ferguson, a research pharmacist, saw Shen Yun for the first time and had high praise for the performance.
“Spectacular. It’s beautiful, very colorful and creative,” Mrs. Ferguson said summing up her impression of the performance.
Mr. Ferguson expressed particular praise for the music played by the Shen Yun Performing Arts Orchestra. The unique orchestra combines the best of Eastern and Western musical traditions, creating a hybrid in which the Western philharmonic structure lays the foundation and Chinese soloists lead the melodies.
Mr. Ferguson was genuinely delighted by the erhu, a two stringed Chinese violin with a history of 4,000 years.
“I like the Chinese violin[ erhu],” he said. “I like the music they played tonight.”
“I thought the music was great. I really enjoyed it.” added Mrs. Ferguson
A Shen Yun performance combines Classical Chinese dance, story based dance, solo singers and a live orchestra making for a dynamic and engaging performance—something Mrs. Ferguson appreciated.
“I like the opera pieces between the dances so they made it variable. I thought it was excellent. The order, the timing made for more variety. It’s very good,” she said.
A standout aspect of the performance for many is the colourful costumes worn by the dancers.
According to the Shen Yun website, “Shen Yun’s costume artists collect countless designs of traditional attire, ranging from those of emperors, ministers, and generals to the everyday clothing of the common people. Their objective is an authentic presentation of the attire that comes from China’s divinely inspired traditional culture, and a consummate stage effect.”
“The colours are so bright and I like the combination of the colours, it’s very unique,” Mrs. Ferguson said. “I love it. I love the long sleeve the dresses and I love the way they use handkerchiefs. I thought it was great.”
New York-based Shen Yun’s mission is to revive 5,000 years of divinely inspired Chinese culture and by presenting the essence of China’s historical traditions, the company has been able to educate as well as entertain.
“I thought it’s educational as well and a good representation of Chinese dance,” Mr. Ferguson said.
“I just enjoyed it very much,” Mrs. Ferguson said, adding that she would recommend it to her friends and family.
Speaking in French, University of Ottawa educator Jean Alphonse said the show was very interesting. “I really like the show, it’s very beautiful, especially the colours,” he said during intermission.
“The costumes are especially beautiful, the dancers too, quality dancers. It’s a very beautiful show.”
Like the Fergusons, he also enjoyed the orchestra.
“I think there is a really beautiful marriage between the orchestra, the dance, the West and China, it’s really an interesting marriage,” Mr. Alphonse said.
His wife Marie-Claire appreciated the brightness of the performance.
“The colours are really impressive. It’s the marriage of colours, very impressing,” she said.
Reporting by Crystal Yin, Rahul Vaidyanath, and Ryan Moffatt
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s New York Company will be in Ottawa until Dec. 30 before going on to Montreal, Toronto, and other cities in eastern Canada.
For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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