OTTAWA, Canada—Nadine and Bianca Grenier, two sisters who are both visual artists, attended Shen Yun Performing Arts Saturday afternoon at the National Arts Centre and gave rave reviews of the renowned classical Chinese dance and music production.
New York-based Shen Yun was established in 2006 with a mission to revive 5,000 years of divinely inspired Chinese culture.
Bianca, who also does animation, found every aspect of the show highly inspiring, from the colours and digital backdrops to the dancers and the costumes.
“The vibrancy and just the flow of it was amazing,” she said. “It gives so much inspiration to go home and draw, it was great.”
Digital backdrops transport the audience to other worlds, providing animated settings that bring the dances to life, as performers on the stage seemingly fly into the scenery and back.
“How the dancers interacted with the backdrop was perfectly in time. I was rather amazed and it was very well done,” Bianca said.
Shen Yun also features a unique orchestra that combines traditional Western and Chinese instruments.
Bianca said she would love to listen to the music at home.
“It was gorgeous,” she said. “Very beautiful, and just the whole Chinese culture, everything was just brought to life and I loved it.”
She said she would tell her friends that Shen Yun is “amazing and astounding.”
“Definitely go see it because the colours are great, just everything is great,” Bianca said.
Nadine, who is planning to return to school to study psychology, was equally impressed by the show.
“I absolutely loved it. It was breathtaking. The colours and the costumes were just out of this world.”
The mainstay of Shen Yun is classical Chinese dance, an art form developed over China’s 5,000 years of history. The continually evolving dance system is one of the most complex and comprehensive in the world, and those with an eye for dance express amazement at the agility, character, and technique of the dancers.
The performances feature a collection of stories told through classical Chinese dance as well as ethnic or folk dances, as well as solo singers singing Chinese lyrics in the bel canto vocal style.
“The music was beautiful,” Nadine said, adding that she is “a huge fan” of the erhu—which has been called the “Chinese violin”—one of the traditional Chinese instruments showcased by Shen Yun.
The calibre of the dances also stood out for her.
“I can see the technical difficulty [of the dancing] was very high,” she said, adding that “the storytelling as well was very well done.”
“Everything was just brought to life and I loved it,” Nadine said.
Reporting by NTD Television and Pam McLennan.
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 Ottawa until Dec. 30 before going on to Montreal, Toronto, and other cities in eastern Canada.
For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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