HAMILTON, Canada—Dancers featured prominently among the audience members of Shen Yun Performing Arts’ final show at Hamilton Place Theatre.
Among the many ballet dancers who came to see the show was Alexandra Cernile, who has danced ballet most of her life, specializing in the French syllabus. She joked during an interview at intermission that she was born dancing.
Like other dancers that came to see the show, she noted the degree of attainment Shen Yun’s dancers reflected.
“It’s amazing,” she said.
“I can see their technique. It’s there, and it’s amazing. They’re amazing dancers. I’m watching their faces too because I’ve performed and everyone’s faces are all in unison. They’re all feeling the emotion. It’s powerful.”
Shen Yun draws upon China’s uninterrupted and sometimes vividly documented history, with dances presenting legendary figures, myths, and scenes from beloved Chinese classic novels. Shen Yun was founded by overseas Chinese artists, united in a mission to revive 5,000 years of divinely inspired Chinese culture.
“I really enjoyed the spiritual part of it,” said Ms. Cernile. “That’s completely conveyed in all … they’re doing, in the movements, the expressions of their bodies when they really put the last touch, the final touches on their movements.”
“It’s very interesting and beautiful.”
Another highlight for her were the colours shown on stage that night, in both the costumes the dancers were wearing and Shen Yun’s animated digital backdrop. Ms. Cernile said just looking at the costumes and backdrops made her happy.
“The costumes are gorgeous, gorgeous. And the backdrops, the animated screen … it’s just exquisite.”
“There very rich, very rich colours.”
She said those colours reminded her of “spring and summer and nature.”
“The colours and the outfits, it’s just incredible, it’s incredible, … I love it, it’s awesome.”
Among the dances that stood out for her was Phoenix Fairies, which depicts phoenix maidens in a secluded faraway paradise. Their shimmering skirts echo the star-speckled sky as they soar with celestial grace, describes the evening’s program.
“It was just gorgeous. They literally had bird wings almost at the back, it was just breathtaking.”
But it was more than the colours and grace of the dancers that moved her, she said. It was also the strength and the ability to carry out difficult leaps, like a jump similar to what classical ballet artists know as the Grand Jeté.
“Where they jump and the leg goes back by the head and they arch back, it was just gorgeous, it was just gorgeous.”
“It’s just an explosion of power,” Ms. Cernile said.
“I’m excited, I can’t wait to see what they have in the second half for us.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Matthew Little
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s New York Company performed three shows in Hamilton Jan. 12-13 and is now heading to Toronto for five shows Jan. 17-20, completing its tour of eastern Canada. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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