QUEBEC CITY—Lucie Lefèbvre, an accomplished visual artist whose work has shown in cities from Paris to San Diego, was thrilled by Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Grand Théâtre de Québec Tuesday evening.
“I really enjoyed the show for its colours, its dynamism, and the synchronization of the dancers was exceptional,” she said after seeing the sold-out performance—the renowned New York-based company’s first time visiting Quebec City.
A recognized artist, Ms. Lefèbvre has received numerous grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts du Québec.
Her work has shown internationally at major institutions and galleries, including the Musée des Beaux Arts de Troyes (France); the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography (Ottawa); El Centro de la Imagen (Mexico City); VU, centre d’animation et de diffusion de la photographie (Québec); the Centre international d’art contemporain (Montréal); and many others.
Her work is also found in significant public and private collections across Canada, including the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Freedman Gallery, and the Winnipeg Art Gallery.
Ms. Lefèbvre said she enjoyed the vibrant colours of Shen Yun’s costumes.
“The costumes were exceptional. Very flamboyant. We wondered what was the fabric. The dancers were very light and fluid. It was very beautiful, very impressive.”
Shen Yun stages mainly classical Chinese dance, a tradition passed down dynasty after dynasty in China’s imperial courts and opera houses. The performance also includes ethnic and folk dances from China’s diverse regions, all supported by a unique philharmonic orchestra that includes traditional Chinese instruments.
Classical Chinese dance is the originator of the flips and tumbling techniques people today know from gymnastics and acrobatics, a little known fact Shen Yun’s hosts explain to the audience.
“I did not know that traditional Chinese dance was so athletic and there were figures that we find in film. I thought that dance had borrowed it from the athletes but we learned that it was quite the opposite,” said Ms. Lefèbvre.
“It was very interesting to see all this because I had read about China and its various dynasties.”
Ms. Lefèbvre was particularly moved by the the colours of the performance, she said.
“The colours were exceptional,” she noted, praising the costumes and the props the dancers sometimes used.
“Very great skill and always with a smile. This is what really surprised me! In every dance, women and men, both, were very joyful, always smiling.
“We know that these dances are very demanding but yet it is done with ease and seems to flow easily because it is always done in joyfulness. This is what we feel from the dancers,” she said.
Reporting by SOH Radio Network and Matthew Little.
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 going on to Kitchener-Waterloo, Hamilton and Toronto in its tour of eastern Canada. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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