VANCOUVER—Event manager Julie MacRae runs dance competitions and events for a living, but on Saturday afternoon she was at Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre for the pure enjoyment of experiencing world-class dance.
Ms. MacRae, who works with Wharton Event Management, attended Shen Yun Performing Arts’ Jan. 17 matinee performance and said it was a “beautiful way to spend the afternoon.”
“It’s definitely worthwhile,” she said. “I would recommend everyone coming—it’s gorgeous.”
Ms. MacRae is also a former student of classical ballet in addition to jazz, tap, lyrical, and other dance styles. She remembered the difficultly of achieving perfection in dance, and admired the high-level skills of the Shen Yun dancers.
“The obvious technique and training that goes into it—it’s very impressive,” she said.
New York-based Shen Yun is the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music company, with a mission to revive 5,000 years of divinely inspired Chinese culture though the performing arts.
“I thought that was very cool the way they weave that into the story,” she said of the ancient Chinese myths and legends featured in the dances. “It’s very entertaining to learn about the history at the same time.”
In addition to story-based classical Chinese dance, Shen Yun also features large-scale group folk dances from China’s multi-faceted ethnic regions. Ms. MacRae was impressed with the dancers’ ability to perform in perfect unison, often with up to 17 dancers onstage at one time.
“They’re very together and in sync,” she said, adding that the costumes were stunning.
“I like the costumes and the technicality of it, it’s very entertaining.”
A folk dance titled Chopsticks Dance of the Mongolian Ladies was a memorable example, said Ms. MacRae. In this dance, against a backdrop of vast, open grasslands and blue sky, Mongolian women greet their guests with bowls of milk tea.
“Arms extend along the horizon like flying falcons, and shoulders shake to a staccato beat. Sequined skirts glitter and beaded hats gleam as dancers click handfuls of chopsticks in an energetic dance of welcome,” describes the Shen Yun program book.
Ms. MacRae also enjoyed Sleeves of Grace, which features the dancers gracefully twirling long, silken sleeves that trail through the air in ethereal patterns.
“Very elegant,” she said, adding that she enjoyed all of the 20-plus dances in the performance.
With reporting by Christina Liao and Justina Wheale
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.
Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reaction since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.