Actress and Musician: ‘I was totally taken by the show’

“I started as a ballet dancer when I was young so I was very impressed with the skills of the dancers tonight. And then I moved on into visual art. And later on I studied violin and music, and then after that it was acting. Now it has been acting for the last 15 years.”

“I thought [Shen Yun] was amazing. I thought all the performers acted from their heart. It needs so much technique to make it look so easy. And everything in the movements, in the smile, in the emotion—I was totally taken by the show. I was really impressed.”

“The [female dancers] were so graceful. A lot of their costumes make them look like flowers or fairies. And with every movement, even though it is a big group of dancers, they could bring grace. They took the time to feel. I totally forgot about everything, I was mesmerized watching, and we were really well seated so I could see everything—the choreography, the technical support—it was magical.”

“They really feel everything. It goes through their eyes, their smile. When they are sad, their chests collapse. When they are happy, everything opens. I understood every story, but without words. They were very good storytellers.”

“I really like the buffoon in the school [referring to the dance ‘Buffoonery in the Schoolyard’], because it starts funny and I was impressed with the skills—all those acrobatics, I know it’s from Chinese dance. I love the number with the handkerchief, it was amazing. The ladies with the long sleeves—how they can rapidly catch it and then open it and it’s like fireworks, it’s like an explosion, and it’s blooming like flowers. I was blown away.”

“There are so many stories, and I heard that it is different every year. And every story has emotions, humor, or has something impressive.”

“[What I observe] is that we’re divine beings. Looking at human beings that graceful, that beautiful, that truthful, that connected, I felt a higher state that humans can achieve; how beautiful we can be; how you can, through looking for your greater self, achieve enlightenment or greatness. I have to say, with the technical support and the choreography, I received the power of it.”

“[The soprano] is wonderful. It’s funny because she was singing in front of mountains and it was like her voice would carry through the mountains. Even the pianist was impeccable. And always with a smile, with heart, with emotion. And the erhu player. I have an erhu at home because I am a violinist, and it is so hard to play the erhu because your bow is caught between the two strings. So when she could do the tremble, I was amazed by her skills, with so much emotion again.”

“The words [the soprano sang] are about peace and our true nature. We are in a state of receiving beauty, seeing beauty being expressed, and in a way in a state of meditation because we don’t think of anything else but what we see. And then she made me focus on what is most precious and beautiful on earth: peace, kindness.”

“For years, I’ve heard people saying that this show is stunning, amazing, and they are right. I’ve heard people saying that they come every year. I asked my husband that maybe we would make it a tradition too.”

Valérie Descheneaux, stage, film, and TV actress; mezzo soprano; violinst
Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, Toronto, Canada
Shen Yun New York Company
January 5, 2018