VANCOUVER, Canada—Vancouver welcomed Shen Yun Performing Arts’ opening show with a rare burst of brilliant sunshine on Jan.10. Arts enthusiasts of all kinds gathered at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre to see the show, including renowned Chinese baritone Song Xuewei, also known as Marco Song.
Having seen Shen Yun once in the U.S., the famous baritone again attended the performance in Vancouver on Jan. 10. He was deeply touched by the experience.
“What Shen Yun has presented are the core values of the human soul—truthfulness, compassion, and beauty,” he said. “Shen Yun also promotes another realm of morality, which is that people should never betray their conscience. This is what is most precious.”
Mr. Song is a national first-class performer in China, and a staple of the China National Opera House. His singing skill and remarkable performing ability was once praised by renowned Russian conductor Alexander Mikhailovich Anisimov as “China’s most distinguished opera singer.”
Mr. Song said that New York-based Shen Yun was completely different from mainland Chinese shows because the artists were performing from the heart and expressing China’s long-cherished traditions and principles.
“In terms of the level of artistry, Shen Yun is completely different from performances in mainland China,” he said.
“Shen Yun’s dancers perform with a kind of belief, which is the values of the human soul: truthfulness, compassion, and beauty. And that is very important.” Song said, “Dancers can mechanically dance without thinking and they can also dance prettily. However, if performers dance with their souls, then it is just different, and the audience can feel it, too.”
Formed in 2006, Shen Yun aims to revive 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture through the performing arts.
Featuring a collection of story-based dance dramas, the performance highlights classical Chinese dance and ethnic or folk dance, and revives the essence of China’s divinely inspired culture and art forms.
According to the Shen Yun website, this culture has been virtually destroyed under decades of campaigns by the communist regime, which abolished traditions and used performance art as a medium for political propaganda.
Mr. Song said watching Shen Yun was like meeting an old friend, and it resonated deeply in his heart.
“It is like making a friend. Most friends greet each other with a ‘Hello’ when they meet. Closer friends gather to have some tea and enjoy some delicacies. The closest friends can share with the mind and the soul, and Shen Yun is this kind of performance,” he said.
Mr. Song also praised Shen Yun’s tenor and sopranos, and their original compositions.
According to the Shen Yun website the lyrics of the songs carry deep reflection on human life, and their universal meanings transcend all cultures and backgrounds.
“The lyrics written for the performance are also magnificent,” said Mr. Song. “They convey ideals and values.”
Shen Yun Performing Arts has three equally large companies simultaneously touring the world. Each company travels with a philharmonic orchestra that incorporates traditional Chinese instruments.
The Jan. 10 performance featured world-renowned conductor Milen Nachev, former chief conductor and artistic director of several major orchestras in Eastern Europe. He has conducted with an impressive repertoire of symphonic works, operas, and ballets, and has guest-conducted numerous orchestras in Russia, Europe, and America.
“The accompaniment of the orchestra is ineffable; it is extraordinary,” said Mr. Song.
He believes Shen Yun is a show worthy of being enjoyed again and again.
“When seeing Shen Yun in southern United States in 2007, I told everyone it was absolutely a beautiful experience,” he said. “I recommend everyone to come and see Shen Yun.”
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s Touring Company will play five shows in Vancouver Jan. 10-13, while the New York Company will complete its tour of eastern Canada with five shows in Toronto Jan. 17–20. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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