TORONTO—Lawyer William O’Hara was uplifted by the sky-high leaps, jumps, and flips on stage at Shen Yun Performing Arts on Sunday.
A partner with law firm Gardiner Roberts LLC, Mr. O’Hara attended the Jan. 26 performance at Sony Centre with Anne Gniewek, a health care professional with the provincial government.
“The dancing is spectacular, absolutely brilliant,” he said after the show. “I love the way the men leap up into the air—they seem to fly. I love it.”
The female dancers were impressive and gorgeous, he added.
“I love the costumes and the women dancers are wonderful—absolutely beautiful dancing.”
Mr. O’Hara and Ms. Gniewek are traditional Polish folk dancers. Mr. O’Hara said Shen Yun was an inspiration and reminded him of his love of dance.
“I want to get up and dance too,” he said.
Ms. Gniewek said it was obvious the Shen Yun dancers had trained at a high level.
“Technically, it’s excellent, it’s very tight,” she said. “I appreciate the discipline it takes to put together a performance like this— there’s lots of practice.”
Every detail was thought through, she added, right down to the handmade costumes and facial expressions.
“The costumes are perfect, the smiles, it’s very, very good,” she said. “It tells a story and I really enjoy the traditional aspect of the dance.”
She was also taken with Shen Yun’s unique orchestra that features traditional Chinese instruments in a Western philharmonic orchestra.
“I really like the orchestra, they’re doing a fantastic job. I can hear the different Chinese traditional instruments and I like that,” she said.
Mr. O’Hara was struck by the sound of the pipa, or Chinese lute—often plucked by heavenly maidens in traditional Chinese paintings. The pipa is known as the “king” of Chinese folk instruments.
“I love the Chinese lute, which I can hear [in the orchestra],” he said, adding he also adored the erhu, or Chinese violin.
“The Chinese violin is absolutely beautiful, and the music suits the dance beautifully. I love it.”
New York-based Shen Yun is a classical Chinese dance and music company on a mission to spread China’s divinely inspired 5,000-year-old culture to the world.
According to the Shen Yun website, each presentation aims to express the core essence of traditional Chinese culture, often through a moral or message.
Mr. O’Hara said the show’s story-based dances provided valuable insight into Chinese cultural beliefs and legends.
“I learned a lot about Chinese culture, a lot about dragons,” he said. “It’s very educational, a lot of fun. Great time.”
“It’s very entertaining, and I do appreciate learning more about the Chinese culture,” added Ms. Gniewek.
Reporting by NTD Television and Justina Wheale
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.