OTTAWA, Canada—Video Game Developer Justin Wilkinson, who is also an instructor at Algonquin College, was amazed at the visual feast before his eyes at Shen Yun Performing Arts’ Sunday afternoon performance at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre.
As a game developer, Mr.Wilkinson couldn’t help but be impressed with Shen Yun’s signature animated backdrop.
“One of the performances earlier actually had characters coming down out from the background and off from the back of the stage, which I thought was fantastic,” he said, referring to the way in which the backdrop interacts with the performers on stage, creating a full theatrical effect that is especially prominent in Shen Yun’s story-based dances.
According to the group’s website, “With state-of-the-art graphics technology, Shen Yun’s digital-backdrop team creates vividly animated settings, extending the stage and transporting the audience to a world where heaven and earth are one.”
Classical Chinese dance is the cornerstone of Shen Yun’s performance. The art form has a history of thousands of years and has the unique ability of conveying China’s traditions and values through its movements.
“They are tremendously talented,” Mr. Wilkinson said of the dancers. “The coordination between all of them in tandem and the way that they are able to time appropriately with the music in the background is phenomenal.
“I can imagine they put in a lot of work and it really shows.”
In addition to the visual spectacle, Shen Yun’s live orchestra and solo singers foster an auditory experience that adds to the complete package of the performance.
Shen Yun’s orchestra is unique in that it combines Eastern and Western instruments to create a unique sound that is at once accessible to a Western audience and reflective of the music of China’s history.
“The music definitely goes very well,” Mr. Wilkinson said.
“The pianist and the opera-style singers were absolutely fantastic.” he added, referring to the solo singers.
Shen Yun’s singers use the highly difficult technique of bel canto operatic singing while retaining the proper Chinese articulation and diction.
“It was amazing. I also love opera. This is the first time I’ve actually heard a Chinese opera singer which I thought was fantastic. The vibrato and the sound was phenomenal,” Mr. Wilkinson said.
Reporting by Crystal Yin and Ryan Moffatt
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s New York Company will be in Montreal Jan. 3-6 before going on to Toronto and other cities in Eastern Canada.
For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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