VANCOUVER—Kim Pechet, a lady well versed in dance and the language of the human body, immensely enjoyed Shen Yun’s performance at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver on Saturday night.
A professional dance and Yoga teacher with formal training in ballet, jazz, and African dance, Ms. Pechet is also the choreographer for “Shimmy,” a television series that teaches the essential movements and techniques of belly dancing. The show is shown on the Oprah Winfrey Channel.
As a Christmas gift from her friends, Ms. Pechet said she was looking forward to experiencing Shen Yun for the first time.
“I think it’s absolutely beautiful,” she said, commenting on the dance.
“I love the acrobatic nature and I, of course, also love the martial arts movements—it’s very oriented to that,” she said, adding that she has studied martial arts in her work.
Classical Chinese dance, the hallmark of Shen Yun, has a history of thousands of years, and it’s where acrobatics actually originate, according to the Shen Yun website. This is is why the ancient art form includes challenging leaps, flips, and tumbling techniques.
As for Chinese martial arts, it spawned from the same roots as classical Chinese dance but served a different purpose: Whereas martial arts was used for fighting and defending, classical Chinese dance entertained dignitaries of the imperial court as a performing art.
Ms. Pechet also praised the choreography and the “absolute precision” of the dancers. “They move so beautifully together.”
In addition to showcasing China’s 5,000-year history, Shen Yun also incorporates tales of modern-day courage into the performance.
One piece depicts the ongoing persecution of Falun Gong in mainland China. Falun Gong is a traditional meditation practice based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. It is rooted in traditional Chinese values and is an example of ancient Chinese principles in the modern age.
“I really appreciated the Falun Gong number,” said Ms. Pechet. “I thought that wouldn’t even be approached, so I appreciated the fact that that group of people are being acknowledged in the show.”
She was also enamoured with the wide array of handmade costumes worn by Shen Yun’s performers. “I think the costuming’s beautiful.”
“I liked this very, very much,” she said of the show.
Reporting by Chen Si and Ryan Moffatt
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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