VANCOUVER—Retired art teacher Irena Erdos had been hoping to see Shen Yun Performing Arts for years, and finally got the chance on Sunday, Jan. 18, at Queen Elizabeth Theatre.
Ms. Erdos attended the matinee performance with her daughter Carmen Heine, and loved everything about it.
“I loved the costumes of course and the dance, the music, the singing, everything. I just really loved it,” she said. “I’m glad I came—I want to come back.”
“I had no idea what it was going to be, but it was really interesting,” added Ms. Heine, a psychology student at the University of Waterloo. “It was really cool.”
New York-based Shen Yun is the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music company. Formed in 2006, it has grown exponentially with four companies that tour the world, on a mission to revive 5,000 years of divinely inspired Chinese culture.
Ms. Erdos was impressed by the athleticism and grace in classical Chinese dance.
“They just look like they’re flying through the air,” she said.
Ms. Heine was surprised by the variety of entertainment in Shen Yun. In addition to story-based classical Chinese dance, the performance also features ethnic and folk dance, traditional Chinese instrumentals, operatic soloists, and high-tech digital backdrops—all accompanied by a unique orchestra that blends together classical Chinese and Western instruments.
“It was really nice,” said Ms. Heine, “A nice surprise.”
Ms. Erdos enjoyed the traditional Chinese stories and legends, brought to life through the classical Chinese dance.
“It sort of gave me the … feeling where you’re carried away to another country and to different time periods,” said Ms. Erdos.
“The colourful handmade costumes add a lot to the experience,” she added.
“The way that they flowed and the colours, you could see a little bit of the ethnic cultures that are coming through in them.”
Digital backdrops accompany each dance, projecting scenes and landscapes from China’s multifaceted regions and geography as well as heavenly paradises. The backdrops are timed precisely with the dancers and orchestra, and can even create the illusion the performers can jump in and out of the screen—an effect Ms. Erdos enjoyed very much.
“That was amazing, people just disappeared and then appeared in the background,” she said.
“It had some comedic aspects too,” added Ms. Heine.
“It’s really good,” she said.
Reporting by Ryan Moffatt and Justina Wheale
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.
Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reaction since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.