TORONTO—Songwriter Radcliffe McIntyre enjoyed a colourful afternoon of song and dance when he came to see Shen Yun Performing Arts’ performance in Toronto at the Sony Centre on Sunday afternoon.
The world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music company, She Yun was established in 2006 in New York with the mission to “revive the true, divinely inspired culture of China.” It has since toured over 100 cities on five continents.
“I enjoyed the show quite a lot,” said Mr. McIntyre. “It was a splendid performance…they put together.”
The New York based reggae and r&b songwriter was in Toronto to see the show and visit his family for the weekend. He came with his friend Ms. Yanwend Dong who had seen Shen Yun at the Lincoln Centre in NY and wanted to come see it again today. He also brought his sister Monica McIntyre and her daughter-in-law Marcia Huerta.
As a musician, Mr. McIntyre expressed his appreciation for Shen Yun’s the live orchestra.
“It was great music, well put together and well organized,” he said.
“It’s well organized in a sense that it was a live performance and you could not see anything in terms of any hitch or misplay or anything of that nature,” he explained.
“It’s like it’s recorded. It was splendid.”
Shen Yun’s live orchestra is particularly unique in that it combines a Western philharmonic orchestra with classical Chinese instruments to create a fresh, harmonious sound.
Mr. McIntyre enjoyed the blend and noted that it sounded like classical music. “It comes together quite well,” he said.
He was also impressed by Shen Yun’s singers, internationally renowned bel canto vocalists. Soprano Geng Haolan’s voice particularly stood out for him.
“It’s magic. It’s a very magical performance she did there, especially the first song and the encore. It was amazing,” he said.
A graduate of the Guangdong Conservatory of Music in China, soprano Geng Haolan was the gold prize winner at the Guangdong Arts Festival and the first place winner in New Tang Dynasty Television’s 2009 International Chinese Vocal Competition.
Geng Haolan, alongside soprano Pi-Ju Huang and tenor Yuan Qu, sung in Chinese with the lyrics being projected into the backdrop.
“It’s great. It’s well, well put together,” said Mr. McIntyre of the lyrics, which speak of longing, goodness and hope.
His sister Monica McIntyre, an admirer of Chinese culture also appreciated the opportunity to see Shen Yun.
“I really enjoyed it. It was lovely,” she said. I enjoyed each section of the performance very well.”
Ms. McIntyre was also impressed by Shen Yun’s state-of-the art animated backdrops.
“I enjoyed that part. The way they do it is really unique,” she said.
The digital projections on the backdrops open a window to different realms, expanding the stage to to places past and present, from vast open grasslands in one dance, to the stately elegance of Tang Dynasty pavilions in another.
Ms. McIntyre’s daughter-in-law, Marcia Huerta was also taken with Shen Yun.
“I really enjoyed the performance, it was really, really nice,” she said.
Ms. Huerta was glad to have the opportunity to see works of traditional Chinese culture, which she doesn’t usually get to experience. She also enjoyed the interaction with the backdrop. “The image and the dancing everything was really really coordinated and nice,” said Ms. Huerta.
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 finished its run of five shows in Toronto with sold-out shows Saturday and Sunday. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
The Epoch Times publishes in 35 countries and in 21 languages. Subscribe to our e-newsletter.