TORONTO—Shen Yun Performing Arts concluded its last show in eastern Canada on Sunday afternoon with a sold-out performance at the Sony Centre. Audiences gathered for colourful and uplifting performances of the world-renowned classical Chinese dance and music group, and they were impressed.
“It’s terrific, very nice, very different,” said Grant Hilliard, director of North American sales at a global industrial supplies company, which maintains eight manufacturing facilities on three continents.
“It is different in that it is informative as to the different types of dances and the music,” he said.
New York-based Shen Yun tours internationally as part of its mission to revive the essence of China’s 5,000-year culture which, according to its website, has been oppressed by various campaigns launched by the ruling communist regime, including the Cultural Revolution.
The production features classical Chinese dance as well as ethnic and folk dances, which particularly impressed Mr. Hilliard.
“Very good. Very acrobatic and very complicated dance,” he said.
Classical Chinese dance is an ancient art form built upon a deep foundation of traditional aesthetics, the website says, and includes difficult leaping, spinning, and tumbling techniques. Those techniques were later adopted by gymnastics and acrobatics, but originated in classical Chinese dance. The ethnic and folk dances also reflect the variety of China’s many ethnicities and rich folk traditions.
Mr. Hilliard was particularly impressed by the “Mongolian Bowl Dance,” in which the ladies elegantly balance bowls on their heads in a dance of welcome.
“I was looking to see whether [the bowls] would come off their head or not. They were very good, very graceful.”
He also had praise for Shen Yun’s renowned animated backdrops, which come to life to extend the stage and take the audience on a journey to a world of beautiful landscapes and heavenly realms.
Mr. Hilliard was particularly impressed by how the graphics “interact with the performers, going in and out onstage.”
He was also struck by the colours and said the whole show left him with a feeling of “happiness, energy.”
“It is very lively,” Mr. Hilliard said, adding that he would have no problem recommending it and that he would “absolutely” come and see it again.
“It is something that is different. I have never experienced something like this before.”
Reporting by Madalina Hubert and Joan Delaney
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 finished its run of five shows in Toronto with sold-out shows Saturday and Sunday. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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