MISSISSAUGA, Canada—As a doctor of Chinese medicine Calvin Crichton understands much about the depth and intricacies of Chinese culture. He found a great deal to appreciate in Shen Yun’s performance at the Living Arts Centre on Saturday afternoon, relishing “the precision, the vibrancy and the colours, the exceptional dances.”
“It’s impressive,” he said.
Mr. Crichton, a senior instructor at the Canadian College of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine, was also the director of the Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine Association of Nova Scotia.
Shen Yun is widely regarded as the best representation of traditional Chinese culture today and the group takes its inspiration from authentic Chinese traditions.
Based in New York, Shen Yun takes audiences on a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese culture using the medium of classical Chinese dance and an accompanying orchestra.
Mr. Crichton described the orchestra as “very lively.”
In Shen Yun, classical Chinese dancers share the stage with an interactive digital backdrop that transports the audience to ancient Chinese landscapes, palaces, and temples. This feature was something Mr. Crichton found particularly impressive.
“I didn’t expect that,” he said. “The use of electronics really gives the story much more breadth and depth.”
Shen Yun presents classical Chinese dance, a comprehensive dance form that was passed down in imperial courts and Chinese theatres for 5,000 years. It requires a high degree of technical training and is one of the most comprehensive dance systems in the world.
“Oh I love it,” said Mr. Crichton. “Just the precision and the gracefulness, the ladies with their eloquence and the men with their timing. It’s great.”
Shen Yun incorporates mini-drama dance pieces that tell stories and legends from both Chinese history and contemporary China. Two bilingual emcees who introduce each piece in order to give audiences some background and understanding of the tales and dances.
Mr. Crichton said the performance was “very easy to follow.”
“It’s very nice that they come out and they explain a little bit, then give you a taste of it. They give you the introduction and then dance gives you the story behind that, so it’s good.”
Reporting by Lisa Ou and Ryan Moffatt
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Its World Company will perform in Toronto from Jan. 23-26. 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.