TORONTO—Former ballet teacher Tinda Holland had heard about Shen Yun’s renowned dancers long before seeing them perform at the Sony Centre on Sunday afternoon, and what she saw left her highly impressed, she said.
“The dancers are very accomplished. They’re very, very accomplished. You can see the dedication. They are looking at you to communicate their feelings with the people watching here,” she said after the show.
“I have heard about them and I said to myself that one day I should really come and see them. So I’m not disappointed at all.”
New York-based Shen Yun excels at taking stories and legends from China’s 5,000-year history and presenting them to audiences through music and dance—both ethnic and folk dances as well as classical Chinese dance, one of the richest and most expressive art forms in the world.
“I find the precision and the musicality, the actual colours that you see, and the storytelling is so unique, very inspiring,” said Ms. Holland, who taught ballet for 23 years.
“It’s very engaging and very entertaining,” she said.
Having evolved over thousands of years, classical Chinese dance has become a complete system of dance embodying traditional aesthetic principles with its unique dance movements, rhythms, and inner meaning.
Other than complete training in the fundamentals, it also entails systematic training in movements and postures, as well as very difficult jumping and tumbling techniques, making it one of the most comprehensive dance systems in the world.
”I know that you have to start training very, very young to even get those hand movements right,” said Ms. Holland.
“The dancers glide across the stage. That’s a very tranquil visual type of perspective that you get from dance. When they jump they land so lightly on their feet that you don’t even hear it, and I remember always teaching my students that. If you feel that you land but you land so softly like a cloud, you know you can make it happen. They’re so soft on their feet.”
She also had high marks for Shen Yun’s male dancers.
“I love the male dancers,” she said.
“I think their bodies are very tuned, very muscular, and very agile. … They come across as professional and they’re very happy with what they’re doing. I bet they love what they do.”
Equally impressive to Ms. Holland was the Shen Yun Orchestra, which combines traditional Chinese instruments with a Western classical orchestra.
“I love that there’s a live orchestra. I find that beautiful. And the music is very tranquil. It’s very soothing,” she said.
Shen Yun’s signature digital backdrops also came in for praise. The backdrops are animated to enhance the action on stage.
“I love the special effects that they have done,” Ms. Holland said.
“I’ve never seen that before. I find that [the backdrop] enhances the storytelling, and you can actually feel it happen. They have no sets, so it’s all animated. And the colours on the screen are all just gorgeous.”
Reporting by Sound of Hope Radio Network and Joan Delaney
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.