VANCOUVER, Canada—Ed and Darlene Neufeld spend their days helping kids rise to the challenges ahead, but took Saturday afternoon for a bit of time to relax with classical Chinese Dance when Shen Yun Performing Arts took to the stage at Queen Elizabeth Theatre.
“It was beautiful. The dancing was amazing. It was so precise, it was so intricate, and just really enjoyable,” said Mrs. Neufeld, principal of Richmond Christian School.
Mr. Neufeld, a teacher at B.C. Christian Academy, said that Shen Yun was a nice introduction to a culture from another age.
“It gave a good overall impression of Chinese culture that normally people who come more from a European background or North American background are not aware of,” he said.
“But there were a lot of common themes between Chinese culture and also European/North American culture as well … that people struggle with different issues and different life questions, [such as] ‘What is the meaning of life?’ … All sorts of things that even from a Christian perspective … come into play as well.”
Based in New York, Shen Yun tours the world with three equally large companies on a mission to revive the essence of traditional Chinese culture, a 5,000-year heritage nearly lost after decades of communist rule.
Mrs. Neufeld said the dances Flower Fairies and Snowflakes Welcoming Spring were particularly delightful.
“It’s just the way they fill the stage,” she said. “You didn’t know where to watch, because you wanted to watch everything at the same time.”
Shen Yun’s orchestra, which combines classical Chinese instruments with the foundation of a philharmonic orchestra was “very listenable,” Mr. Neufeld said.
The couple both commented on Shen Yun’s digital projections, animated backdrops that provide vivid scenery for each dance and English translations of the Chinese songs sung by the company’s bel canto soloists.
“I like the use of video, the incorporation of video with the set-stage,” said Mr. Neufeld, noting that “the meshing of the two was interesting.”
“You could understand what they were trying to communicate and that was really good,” said Mrs. Neufeld of the translated lyrics.
Reporting by Ryan Moffatt and Matthew Little
Shen Yun’s New York Company will perform one more show in Vancouver before leaving Canada. The production will return in April to perform in Calgary, Edmonton, and Regina.
For more information visit www.ShenYunPerformingArts.org.