VANCOUVER—Two friends, both of whom work as visual effects artists in the film industry, were thrilled with the Shen Yun Performing Arts production they saw Saturday evening at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.
“It’s awesome. It’s really colourful and bright and I like the variety between all the different dances,” said Jill George.
At the heart of Shen Yun is classical Chinese dance, one of the most comprehensive dance systems in the world. It includes challenging jumping, flipping, and tumbling techniques, and is where gymnastics and acrobatics originated.
Ms. George said she particularly appreciated “the gymnastics they do and like all the splits and the flips and all that stuff—it’s pretty impressive.”
She also enjoyed Shen Yun’s digital backdrops, which are animated and interact with the story-based dances being played out onstage.
“It’s cool. I like when the dragon swoops down and they come out of the water and they go back in. They do it really well—the timing is perfect,” Ms. George said, referring to the piece Ne Zha Churns the Sea, which depicts a young hero who saves a seaside village from the evil Dragon King.
“It’s very impressive with all the colours and all the people. There’s so many dancers, it’s really impressive.”
Shen Yun’s backdrops also drew praise from Ms. George’s friend, Jesus Yapor.
“It’s very creative. I wasn’t expecting it so it caught me by surprise. I think it’s great, it’s very interactive with the performances. I think it works very well,” he said.
New York-based Shen Yun was founded in 2006 by a group of leading classical Chinese artists who wished to revive the true traditional culture of China that has been all but lost following decades of communist rule.
Through dance and live orchestral music, Shen Yun portrays myths and legends from ancient China along with heroic tales throughout the Middle Kingdom’s long history.
“I’m very glad that I’m here to experience [this],” said Mr. Yapor. “I think it’s beautiful and very informative and it’s exposing me to the culture and the type of dancing.”
“I feel like I’m learning a lot about historic parts of Chinese culture that I’ve never heard about before, so it’s interesting,” added Ms. George.
According to the Shen Yun website, China’s traditional culture was imparted by heavenly deities, and is therefore divinely inspired—an aspect that Mr. Yapor appreciated.
“I think it’s great,” he said. “I think it’s important to preserve each culture, where they originated from, and to contribute to the overall flavour of the world—to preserve that is very important.”
Mr. Yapor concluded by saying he would tell his friends and family that Shen Yun is “very colourful and beautiful and vivid, and it’s very enjoyable.”
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. 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.