Company VP Enjoys Shen Yun Dance and Music

February 5, 2012 Updated: September 29, 2015

VANCOUVER, Canada—Restaurant executive Graham Cooke attended Shen Yun Performing Arts on Saturday night at Queen Elizabeth Theatre and praised the dance and music showcased by the classical Chinese cultural production.

“The costumes are wonderful. I think the dancing is wonderful,” said Mr. Cooke, vice president of New Restaurant Expansion at A&W.

“I’m enjoying it. I’m really enjoying the music and I think the singing is quite wonderful,” he added, speaking during the intermission.

Mr. Cooke had special praise for the performance of tenor. “I like the male tenor singer very much.”

The vocal soloists of New York-based Shen Yun use the bel canto operatic singing technique to sing stirring Chinese lyrics, accompanied by the piano, with the English translation of their songs displayed on the backdrop projected behind them on the stage.

“And I thought the monks dancing was quite sweet,” Mr. Cooke said, referring to a piece telling the story of young apprentice monks putting their hearts into their work to tidy up the temple, with humorous results.

“I quite enjoyed that,” he said. “It was fun and sweet and gentle.”

Shen Yun, founded in 2006, travels the world every year with an all-new program of mainly classical Chinese dance rounded out by Chinese ethnic and folk dances.

The company’s mission is to revive the authentic traditional culture of China, an ancient heritage that has been all but entirely lost under decades of communist rule, explains the Shen Yun website.

Reporting by Chen Si and Cindy Chan.

Shen Yun’s New York Company will have one more performance in Vancouver before leaving Canada. The production will return in April to perform in Calgary, Edmonton, and Regina.

For more information, visit