QUEBEC CITY, Canada—Ballet instructor Laurence Bastien-Dionne carefully watched the lines, the precision, and the skills of each dancer in Shen Yun Performing Arts. Although the classical Chinese dance performed by Shen Yun artists is different than the style she is used to, the performance left her gushing.
“I loved the show,” said Bastien-Dionne, who teaches ballet at the École de Danse Espace Danse.
“It’s different… the flips, they way they do it, it’s really not the same,”she said. “In ballet, we do pointe and the men carry the women in the air, but here the women don’t need to be carried… They do unbelievable jumps and they jump very high.”
Their spins and unique movements impressed her, she said.
“It’s really amazing and technically it’s wonderful, very precise.”
“Traditional Chinese dance is already unique because of the movements, the rhythm is different and the musicality changes often. It’s soft and suddenly it becomes very joyful, very humorous, and then it goes to drama.”
She said the dancers were good actors, and presented the he shorelines well.
“There is drama and there is humour and they do it very well.”
Shen Yun stages classical Chinese dance, a tradition that dates back thousands of years with a lineage that can be traced through Chinese royal courts and opera houses dynasty after dynasty.
“Soaking up profound wisdom from every era and dynasty, [classical Chinese dance] has become a complete system of dance embodying traditional aesthetic principles with its unique dance movements, rhythms, and inner meaning,” according to the Shen Yun website.
Each dance scene takes place with an animated digital backdrop which offers stunning vistas from both the human realm and beyond. The scenes there are closely synchronized—and sometimes interact—with the dancers on the stage. Bastien-Dionne said she appreciated how the backdrops were integrated into the performance.
“It’s impressive to see the interaction between the backdrops and the dancers who come out of nowhere,” she said, referring to scenes where a character appears on the backdrop then suddenly jumps to life on the stage.
“It’s simply fantastic.”
Bastien-Dionne said she is touched by the perfect unity of the large number of dancers on the stage.
She said when the dancers changed their positions, and went from being in line formations, to diagonals, or circles, she watched closely and saw that whatever pattern the dancers formed, they were always perfectly positioned.
“For dancers, the line needs to stay the same and it stays the same. And they come out of it quickly, I look at that and also at the feet. The feet flex, point, and everyone is the same. It’s really pretty.
“All the dancers are synchronized and the movements are very fluid, it’s fantastic.”
She said she also enjoyed Shen Yun’s colourful costumes, which are handmade for each year’s performance and number in the hundreds.
“I look at the costumes because a costume says a lot—it helps to tell the story and it’s pretty.”
She said if she were to summarize the show in one word, it would be “impressive.”
Shen Yun Performing Arts World Company will stage three shows at the Grand Théâtre de Québec, Salle Louis-Fréchette from Friday until Sunday.
Reporting by NTD Television and Matthew Little
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit Shen Yun Performing Arts.
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.