MONTREAL—The tense battle between Shaolin monks and a gang of hooligans was one of the most entertaining moments of the Shen Yun Performing Arts for technology director Jeff Lalonde.
“I really liked the Shaolin monks,” he said. “That program was a lot of fun, very interesting. The movement, and just watching [the artists]—their faces and bodies are very expressive.”
The dance, entitled When Shaolin Monks Protected the Emperor, tells the story of monks from the famed Shaolin monastery who battle assailants to rescue the founder of the Tang Dynasty, Tang Taizong.
Mr. Lalonde is the Director of Emerging Technologies at Vector Networks Inc., which has offices in Atlanta, Montreal, and Birmingham. He attended the evening Shen Yun performance on Jan. 5 with his wife at the Place des Arts and said the program of story-based dances was “very, very interesting.”
New York-based Shen Yun is a classical Chinese dance and music company that aims to revive 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture through the performing arts.
Through the medium of classical Chinese dance and ethnic or folk dance, Shen Yun takes audiences on a journey through China’s divinely-inspired culture, right up to the present day.
“A unique feature of Chinese civilization is that its history has been documented and passed down uninterrupted for 5,000 years, sometimes in vivid detail,” states the website. “This provides Shen Yun with vast source material, making it possible to revive this ancient culture on a present-day stage.”
Mr. Lalonde enjoyed the performances by Shen Yun’s vocalists, who sing Chinese lyrics in bel canto operatic style.
Understanding the meaning behind the words that were sung was very, very interesting.
—Jeff Lalonde, technology director
The lyrics of the songs are translated and projected onto a digitally-animated backdrop.
“One of the songs they were singing was about reincarnation over thousands of years,” said. Mr. Lalonde. “It was interesting to hear it, for sure. It was something more than just a general idea—understanding the meaning behind the words that were sung was very, very interesting.”
According to the Shen Yun website, all songs are original compositions.
“Brimming with philosophical reflection about human life and deep layers of meaning, they traverse the boundaries of nation, race, and culture and have been fondly received and appreciated the world over.”
Reporting by Donna He and Justina Wheale.
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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