VANCOUVER—After watching Shen Yun Performing Arts, Shelly Lien said it was a “ten out of ten. Beautiful.”
Lien, a sales director, experienced Shen Yun Performing Arts with her two friends at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on March 29.
The traditional dance and music company is in the midst of its 2019 tour and is delighting audiences across four continents around the world. Shen Yun’s mission is to revive China’s semi-divine culture and bring it back to the modern world through performing arts.
Lien and her friends Ken Godfray and Thomas Gleig were astounded by the grand splendor displayed on stage as they traveled through 5,000 years of history, visiting different dynasties, regional areas, and delving into stories that evoked both laughter and tears.
“I think this show is wonderful. I think there is a lot of athleticism. And one of the things that I like the most is that there’s live orchestra as well as the dance. So I like the way both of them work together. It’s beautiful. I think the colors and the costumes are phenomenal,” said Godfray, a regional vice president at a company.
Through about 20 vignettes of classical Chinese dance, folk and ethnic dance, story-based dances, and solo musicians, Shen Yun provides a glimpse into a cultural treasure that is nearly lost.
“The depth of the culture and … the length of the history … [is] unbelievable,” said Gleig, a director in another company.
“I think it’s actually a fabulous learning lesson but yet a wonderful entertainment experience. I think that I wouldn’t miss this for the world,” he added.
According to the company website, the name “Shen Yun” means the beauty of divine beings dancing. The trio said they agreed with the company’s name as they were able to feel the energy and purity associated with the divine coming from the performers.
“It’s almost the beauty of divine energy. And you can feel the energy in the dance and the expression. It’s phenomenal. It’s very, very good. You can feel the energy,” Godfray said.
Lien shared where she thought this energy came from. She said, “I think it comes from the heart of the dance. You can feel the connection between the dance, the story, and the audience. I think the entire story, the interpretation of each story has its own connection with the audience.”
She added that the energy of the performers made them look “almost ethereal or angelic.”
Many of Shen Yun’s performers practice the spiritual discipline Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, and follow its tenets of “Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance.”
According to the Shen Yun website, practicing Falun Dafa is a state of mind that guides daily life, is oriented toward self-betterment, taking responsibility, and putting others first. By incorporating these values into their production, the performers attempt to bring purity into their work, and inspire audience members to reflect about themselves and the world around them, something Gleig thought Shen Yun was able to achieve.
“The show actually brings enlightenment, and enlightenment brings knowledge and brings awareness. And that fact makes us all better people. And so it’s fantastic to experience this event today,” Gleig said.
With reporting by Sunny Chen.
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time and has covered audience reactions since the company’s inception in 2006.