MONTREAL, Canada—A heavenly scene vivid with graceful fairies and magnificent divine beings wowed the audience as the curtain rose at the final show of Shen Yun Performing Arts at Place des Arts on Wednesday night.
In the audience was Myriam Tétreault, an accomplished dancer charmed by the acclaimed classical Chinese dance and music production.
“I love it, I love it very much,” she said.
“The choreography is great,” she said, adding that she enjoyed the different styles of dances by Shen Yun’s male and female dancers.
She was particularly delighted by the mini-dramas told by many of the story-based dances.
“I like the theatrical side of the dance, and how they tell a story with it. … I loved the faces, the dancers had a lot of expression, “ she said.
Her observation spoke to some of the key characteristics of classical Chinese dance.
As explained on the Shen Yun website, “The movements of classical Chinese dance are rich in their ability to express a variety of feelings, be it happiness, sorrow, joy, anger, grief, delight, the emotions that come with parting and reuniting, insanity, infatuation, sickness, tipsiness, solemnity, ignobility, majesty, as well as civil, military, and other personalities and stories.”
Classical Chinese dance also involves a dance acting element in performing theatrical dance, where facial expressions coordinate with physical movement to produce an amplified form of expression.
For Ms. Tétreault, it was some of the funny moments that she especially enjoyed.
The New York-based company’s global tour this year has several dances with notable humour, such as a story about bees and bedlam in an ancient schoolyard, and another about a fun-loving and mischievous demi-god born out of a giant meatball.
Shen Yun was founded on a mission to revive 5,000 years of Chinese culture, the foundation for classical Chinese dance.
Full expression is achieved only when inner feelings drive the body into motion, and training includes many difficult dance techniques such as jumping, tumbling, spins, and flips.
Ms. Tétreault, who dances many styles including jazz and ballet, noted the finer points of the performance.
“I love the graceful hands, the finesse, flexibility, and agility. I think it’s the details, it is full of tiny details of hands, and for me, that’s really what I like about this culture—fascinating.”
She said she would tell her friends that the show is something very special.
“I really loved it. I think it’s really a great show and I will tell the others to come.”
“It really is a beautiful moment that I had tonight,” she added.
Reporting by NTD Television and Sophie Brunswig
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s World Company finished its Montreal performances on Thursday and will now go on to Hamilton, Ontario. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org