MISSISSAUGA, Canada—Actor and performer Rick Pink has enjoyed a three-decade career in the spotlight, doing everything from leading a band to creating, producing, and hosting his own award-winning variety show.
For this veteran entertainer, the Shen Yun Performing Arts matinee at MIssissauga’s Living Arts Centre on Saturday was a perfect way to celebrate the holiday season.
“[Shen Yun] is a celebration of life, a festival of colour,” he said after the matinee performance.
“The dancing, performing, and the singing are very much in tune with where we are at for the holidays.”
New York-based Shen Yun is a world-renowned classical Chinese dance and music company, with a mission to revive 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture through the performing arts.
Shen Yun has three companies simultaneously performing around the world; the Canadian leg of the tour kicked off in Mississauga on Dec. 20.
Mr. Pink has been a performer for 35 years, singing, acting, and producing for television and radio. He said as a veteran performer he knows how hard it is to put on a successful live show, and Shen Yun excelled at keeping the audience captivated.
“It’s exciting, it has a lot of movement, it has a lot of colour, and it has a tremendous exuberance. It is moving all the time and it’s changing from one scene to the next. It’s very, very good,” he said.
Shen Yun features a collection of story-based dances or mini-dramas that aim to capture the essence of traditional Chinese culture, according to the official website.
The performance also includes vocal soloists, digitally animated moving backdrops, vibrant costumes, and a unique orchestra that includes traditional Chinese instruments.
Mr. Pink said the combination of these elements were very effective.
“The choreographer has done a very good job for the movement, the singers are well rehearsed, and all the musicians in the orchestra are very talented, so the production comes off very professionally, very good,” he said.
He also appreciated the rich culture and spiritual themes that emerged during the performance.
“It’s cultural, it’s history, it even brings in the wisdom and the study of Chinese [spiritual beliefs] so it brings forward a great many ideas in one,” he said.
According to the website, Shen Yun’s stories aim to express traditional Chinese values such as loyalty, filial piety, and veneration for the divine.
Mr. Pink said Shen Yun is ideal for everyone, especially in the current tumultuous social and economic climate, because it can bring people “into a happy place.”
“I would absolutely recommend it to everyone—not only my Anglo friends but to my Chinese friends as well,” he said.
Reporting by NTD Television and Justina Wheale.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s New York Company will be in Mississauga until Dec. 23 before going to Ottawa and Montreal and other dates in Ontario, Quebec, and across Canada. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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