TORONTO—Lorenzo Biondi and his wife, Olivia, who attended Shen Yun’s Saturday afternoon sold-out show at Toronto’s Sony Centre, expressed great appreciation for the performance and its insights into traditional Chinese culture.
“It has been a great show, I’ve enjoyed it tremendously,” said Mr. Biondi, vice president of Medical and Regulatory Affairs at Hoffmann La-Roche Ltd. Canada, a leading biotechnology company where he has worked for nearly 30 years.
Mr. Biondi is also a member of the executive and Board of two non-profit organizations and has held various executive positions in pharmaceutical industry associations including as Chair.
“It gives us an ability to look into a different culture and some of the entertainment that has been developed through centuries,” he said.
“It’s quite unique compared to what we know here in North America, so as a result we enjoyed it quite a bit.”
In presenting the Middle Kingdom’s ancient heritage, Shen Yun incorporates modern technology in the form of a large-scale digital backdrop that hangs behind the dancers. The animated backdrop interacts with the dancers onstage, producing a full theatrical effect.
This interaction was something Mr. Biondi found “really unique and really enjoyable.”
“It’s actually quite nice to see the interaction between the actual dancers and the new technology and electronics, where you can make it appear as though somebody had disappeared into the background,” he said.
“I liked it a lot.”
The dancers and their costumes were another aspect that impressed the couple.
“Love it, it’s lovely, colourful, graceful. They are doing a great job, great dancers,” said Mrs. Biondi.
“There is a lot of flow in it,” added Mr. Biondi. “You can actually create quite an imagery just because you can see the flow of the dancers, and they do that through the costumes.”
New York-based Shen Yun’s mission is to revive 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture, according to its website.
Shen Yun’s efforts to revive ancient Chinese traditions has made it the go-to experience for those who wish to discover the essence of China’s ancient civilization, something impossible to find in the country today under the current communist regime, which has largely suppressed traditional values and beliefs.
This was something noted by Mr. Bondi, who recently travelled to China.
“In today’s environment we have to remember that China is not still free,” he said. “[The show] just brought that home too.”
Reporting by Matthew Little and Ryan Moffatt
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 is in Toronto for five shows Jan. 17-20, completing its tour of eastern Canada. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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