MISSISSAUGA, Canada—Joseph Plutino, owner of a community design company, was touched by the artistry of Shen Yun Performing Arts and its portrayal of the traditional Chinese people living in harmony with their environment while highly connected with their inner self.
“They’re a very hardy people,” he said. “They’re very spiritual and very strong—very centred people. They seem to be at one with their environment and their spiritual self as well. They seem very well-rounded.”
New York-based Shen Yun, founded in 2006, takes as its mission the revival of 5,000 years of divinely inspired Chinese culture, its website states.
Shen Yun has three dance companies—each with full-size orchestras—that tour the globe each year with an all-new lineup of dances, songs, and musical scores, showcasing classical Chinese dance at its core but also featuring China’s numerous ethnic and folk dance styles.
“It’s a festival of colours,” said Mr. Plutino at intermission. “A lot of dance, beautiful singing—I love the opera, I love hearing the tenors.” Shen Yun’s second performance at the Living Arts Centre this season was sold-out, like the first.
Mr. Plutino is owner of Mainline Planning, a company that works in land use planning and land development.
Shen Yun’s vocal soloists are distinguished for their mastery of bel canto operatic technique while singing Chinese lyrics.
Meanwhile, the Shen Yun Orchestra is unique in its seamless fusion of the sounds of East and West, with traditional Chinese instruments leading the melodies as a Western philharmonic orchestra plays the foundation.
“The music is wonderful,” Mr. Plutino said. “I love it.”
If people have faith in humanity, then they can overcome everything.
— Mr. Plutino, owner of Mainline Planning
Shen Yun tells the story of one of the most ancient cultures in the world, according to its website, from the dawn of Chinese civilization to the present day, .
Mr. Plutino drew an important message from the several pieces that depict modern life in China under communist rule.
The scenes highlight the persecution of the spiritual group Falun Gong, which is “guided by the principles of ‘Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance’” and “has helped over a hundred million Chinese people understand and return to the essence of traditional Chinese culture—Confucian, Buddhist, and Taoist schools of thought,” according to Shen Yun’s website. However, the Chinese Communist Party, having an ideology “in stark contrast: with these principles, began a brutal persecution in 1999.
“But Falun Gong practitioners have held firm to their beliefs and have continued to expose countless injustices through peaceful means,” says Shen Yun’s website. ”Their spirit of compassion and tolerance manifest the very essence of China’s 5,000-year-old divine culture.”
“If people have faith in humanity, then they can overcome everything,” said Mr. Plutino.
Mr. Plutino was accompanied by his girlfriend, Angela, a flight-attendant trainer, to the show.
“I love it so far,” she said during the intermission. “I’ve been mesmerized. It’s beautiful.”
Reporting by Quincy Yu 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 be in Mississauga until Dec. 23 before going to Ottawa and Montreal and other dates in Ontario, Quebec, and across Canada. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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