MISSISSAUGA, Canada—Justice of the Peace John MacDonald was so intrigued by the promotions for Shen Yun Performing Arts that he knew he couldn’t miss the chance to see it at the Living Arts Centre on Friday.
After taking in the sold-out performance of classical Chinese music and dance, he gave the experience a top grade.
“On a scale of 1 to 10 this is definitely a 10,” he said. “I think it’s just beautiful.”
Mr. MacDonald is a court administrator in both Ontario and Nova Scotia. He also worked as a reporter for the Oshawa Times, and served as executive assistant to a federal member of parliament for more than a decade.
A frequent arts patron, Mr. MacDonald said Shen Yun stood out from the rest.
“I’ve never seen anything as good as what I’m seeing here tonight,” he said. “I think it was great.”
New York-based Shen Yun was formed by overseas Chinese artists in 2006, with a mission to revive 5,000 years of divinely-inspired Chinese culture.
Mr. MacDonald was amazed by the physicality of classical Chinese dance.
“I like the agility, I like the height that the men can hit,” he said.
“They must have taken lots of training.”
Passed down for thousands of years in China, classical Chinese dance is composed of three main parts: bearing, form, and technical skill. It also entails systematic training in movements and postures, as well as very difficult jumping and tumbling techniques, according to the Shen Yun website.
Mr. MacDonald was impressed with the interplay between the dancers and digitally animated backdrops. Designed to provide vivid context to each story-dance, the high-tech backdrops interact seamlessly with the dancers on stage.
“The backdrops that they’re using really bring it all to life. The timing is perfect, they bring it all together,” he said.
He was also captivated by the hundreds of handmade costumes made of brightly coloured silk.
“I can’t believe the costumes and the talent of the individuals that are taking part in the show,” he said.
“It must be expensive to have costumes that beautiful and that well fitting and so many of them, so many costume changes.”
Though it was his first Shen Yun experience Mr. MacDonald vowed it wouldn’t be his last.
“We’d come again,” he said.
Reporting by SOH Radio Network and Justina Wheale
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s World Company will give four sold-out performances in Mississauga before heading to Toronto on Jan. 23. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.