TORONTO—Shen Yun Performing Arts staged the second of four nearly sold-out shows at the Canon Theatre on Saturday afternoon, leaving Bob Delaney, a member of Ontario’s parliament who has seen the show before, with renewed appreciation.
“Breathtaking! You can’t say enough about the dancing, the costumes, the music. I have seen it once it before and I think it’s an awful lot like reading a favourite book or going to see one of your old favourite movies—each time you see it you pick up some more subtle things that impresses you even more,” he said.
“For example, in the story with the fellow fighting the tiger, and with the girls dancing in their dresses with the very long sleeves—the first time I saw it I was sort of awed by it, the second time I starting to notice the synchronization of the steps and the way that they configure their bodies and some of the subtle things that make the show so memorable.”
Shen Yun’s dancers, accompanied by an orchestra that combines Chinese and Western musical instruments, take their inspiration from China’s 5,000-year history. From the folk dances of the Middle Kingdom’s diverse ethnicities to dramatic pieces that capture ancient legends or modern-day struggles, Shen Yun aims to reflect the very core of Chinese traditional culture.
“I think the choreography is wonderful and you can’t help but be impressed at the athleticism of the performers, and mostly how they come together as one mind. Something that seems to be uniquely Chinese is the ability to express a single sentiment through many minds and many bodies all synchronized perfectly,” Mr. Delaney said.
Mr. Delaney, who serves as the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Revenue, has a master’s degree in business administration from Simon Fraser University and taught at the School of Business Studies in Continuing Education at Ryerson University. He is also the co-author of High Value IT Consulting, published by Osborne McGraw Hill.
In addition to the choreography, Mr. Delaney said he was impressed by Shen Yun’s animated backdrops which he thought captured the beauty of China.
“I have always been impressed with the backdrops, particularly. You start to notice subtle things like the flags fluttering and things moving in the backdrop, and it’s often as if the backdrop is a film in itself.”
He would “definitely” recommend Shen Yun to others, Mr. Delaney concluded.
“The show is unlike anything you can be prepared for here.”
With files from New Tang Dynasty Television