TORONTO—This is the second year Alisha Joseph has seen Shen Yun Performing Arts and her enthusiasm was undiminished after the April 22 show at the Sony Centre.
Calling the performance “astonishing” and “breathtaking,” Ms. Joseph says she will return with members of her family to see it again.
Mother of four, author, and poet (she writes themed, story-like poems for non-profit organizations like After Breast Cancer and Million Dollar Smiles), Ms. Joseph described the impact of the dances.
“Each one sends out a different emotional message. It definitely brings people to tears—you get excited, you laugh. The skill is mind-boggling.”
Ms. Joseph said she was particularly moved by “The Lady of the Moon,” which tells the legend of the moon goddess Chang’E.
“Using the graphic animation behind, the one with the woman in the moon and the loved one holding onto her and he’s trying to hang onto her, and she’s drifting away, and you can just see the audience, it’s almost like we’re all holding our breath to see what’s going to happen. And then when he releases her, it’s very emotional.”
Shen Yun uses an animated backdrop that brings scenes to life as characters leap from the stage to the heavens and back again while relaying China’s ancient stories, legends, and culture using humour, drama, and pathos in the dance scenes.
Some stories describe the harmony between heaven and earth that was prevalent in ancient Chinese culture, and Ms. Joseph finds a connection with her own work, which reflects compassion and concern for fellow humans.
“It’s so moving because it’s a message that needs to be given,” she says.
When talking about the significance of the themes of the dances and how they resonate with her own beliefs, Ms. Joseph said: “All these other things, wealth and prosperity, abundance, and whatnot —that can all be taken away. But when you have the support of the Grand Creator all is well for you in the future. So yeah, the message was loud and clear and done in a very classy way.”
Traditional Chinese dance requires great skill and physical agility while keeping the movements light and graceful. Ms. Joseph said she held her breath when the Shen Yun dancers were onstage because their movements are astonishing and “they land with such grace and elegance.”
Ms. Joseph and her husband plan to see the show again next week with their four children and her parents.
“There’s just so much grace about it you have to see… I’m going to bring my small children next week. I’m going to bring my parents, so from young to elderly, man or woman, everyone will be entertained, and everyone will definitely leave with a really important message I think that we all can think about at the end of the day.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Pam McLennan
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s International Company is currently touring Eastern Canada. For more information, visit Shen Yun Performing Arts.
Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reaction since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.