MONTREAL—As a dancer herself, Melissa Valiquette was awed and deeply impressed by the difficult technique mastered in Shen Yun Performing Arts, which performed at Place des Arts on Jan. 3, 2013.
“The technique was amazing,” said Ms. Valiquette.
“They were very flexible and their movements were very graceful and beautiful—Very impressive.”
Ms. Valiquette has been a swing dancer for eight years, and also works as an Environmental Services Professional at Montreal-based CRE Laurentide. She attended Shen Yun with her boyfriend Ismaël Picot, also a swing dancer.
“Everything was perfection,” she said, adding the production was grandiose.
“They were beautiful—very pretty, graceful. Their movements were perfect, very synchronized, a lot of coordination between the hands, the legs, the whole body.”
New York-based Shen Yun is a world-renowned classical Chinese dance and music company, which aims to revive 5,000 years of divinely-inspired Chinese culture.
The company, which is currently touring the world, features story-based classical Chinese dance as well as ethnic and folk dances that capture the essence of traditional Chinese values.
“I really liked the traditional aspect,” said Ms. Valiquette. “It was very nice to be in contact with the culture, and I thought it gave a good sense of the culture, the people.”
According to the Shen Yun website, classical Chinese dance is one of the most comprehensive dance systems in the world, and influenced by China’s five millennia-old civilization, is rich with expressive power.
“There was a lot of theatrics in the movements,” said Ms. Valiquette. “I could see in the dancing, the whole body was expressing something—I really liked that.”
She was especially touched by a piece called Phoenix Fairies, which depicts phoenix maidens soaring through a heavenly paradise.
“It was magical,” she said. “The way they moved, they looked like birds. It was really amazing.”
Ms. Valiquette said it was very clear that the Shen Yun dancers had trained arduously to achieve their high level of technical perfection and synchronicity.
“What they’ve done was very very difficult that’s for sure. The precision of their movements was amazing. All the arms exactly at the same level, all of the feet were together on the right rhythm doing the perfect thing,” she said, adding she appreciated the synchronicity between artists in the large group dances.
“It’s very difficult work, they must have worked hours and hours and hours to do that, I have no doubt.”
She was especially impressed with the strength and athleticism of Shen Yun’s male dancers.
“They were excellent,” she said. “It looked very hard what they were doing with all the jumps, it looks like they needed a lot of strength in their legs and their arms and their whole body to do the movements. I really liked it.”
Reporting by NTD Television 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, and Toronto in its tour of eastern Canada. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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