MONTREAL—Johanne Gilbert received a special Christmas gift this year. Her husband Alain Gravel treated her to a performance by the world renowned artistic group Shen Yun Performing Arts.
The New York-based company has stopped in the city for five shows from Jan. 3-6 at the prestigious Place des Arts theatre. So far, all three shows have been sold-out with limited tickets available for the Sunday matinee performance.
“It’s exceptional, what we’re seeing,” said Mr. Gravel, a photographer and sales representative. “It’s different from the shows that we normally see here.”
The couple was particularly fascinated by the colours, which according to Mr. Gravel brought positivity to the performance. Ms. Gilbert was also intrigued by Shen Yun’s state-of-the-art animated backdrops, which extend the stage to transport the audience to another world. In some pieces the backdrops come to life to interact with the dancers.
Ms. Gilbert is the owner of Imajou, an agency specializing in the sale of educational games and children’s toys to boutiques in Quebec, the Maritimes, and the Ottawa region.
She said she enjoyed the choreography and the dancers’ coordination. The piece Mongolian Bowl Dance, a dance of welcome where ladies balance bowls on their heads, particularly stood out for her.
“I would say that they float on stage,” Ms. Gilbert said.
“We were talking whether I would be able to walk as quickly as them. I will try,” she said, laughing.
Her husband, in turn, was struck by the dance Ancient Elegance, in which courtly ladies glide spinning long silken sleeves. “Their dainty steps and delicate forms evoke the epitome of feminine grace,” according to the program book description.
“That’s really punchy,” said Mr. Gravel of the performance. “It’s bringing a little something more.”
Reporting by Mathieu Côté-Desjardins and Madalina Hubert.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s New York Company will play five shows in Montreal Jan. 3-6 and one show in Quebec City Jan. 8 before going on to Kitchener-Waterloo, Hamilton, and Toronto in its tour of eastern Canada. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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