‘Everything is to a T,’ Says Former Dancer About Shen Yun
OTTAWA, Canada—Based on her training as a dancer, Erika Ferrarin lauded the visual feast of classical Chinese dance presented by Shen Yun Performing Arts after seeing the production on Friday night at the National Arts Centre.
Now an interior designer, Ms. Ferrarin used to dance modern jazz and was a professional dancer in the African style of dance.
“I love it,” she said of the show.
“I’ve never seen anything of this calibre—to see that many people on stage, and to be able to be that in tune with each other, and the movements completely choreographed and perfectly timed,” she said.
“As a dancer, to understand the complexity and how difficult it is to do these kinds of movements, and such timing, it’s amazing, so it was really incredible to see that.”
Ms. Ferrarin especially praised the synchronization of the choreography, noting that “everything is to a T, to the perfect moment.”
She highlighted a traditional Mongolian dance featuring male dancers performing fast, furious footwork and using chopsticks to create a crisp, staccato beat.
“That is when it really shows true, that you have to be completely timed and completely perfect in everything that you do, to be able to have that sound of the chopsticks at the same time from all of the dancers,” she said.
As for the difficult movements of classical Chinese dance, such as the leaps, jumps, and tumbles, Ms. Ferrarin commended the flexibility of the dancers.
She also enjoyed the costumes.
“They are very elaborate. Never seen anything to that level,” she said.
“The colouration, the combinations I haven’t quite seen before. Something a bit different than maybe America would normally be associated with—the different kinds of palettes of colours and the combinations of colours together is quite incredible.”
The Shen Yun website explains that each performance showcases more than 400 Chinese costumes, all handmade and often hand-stitched, the result of thousands of hours of drawing, cutting, and sewing.
“The backdrop, the three-dimensional graphics is pretty cool,” added Ms. Ferrarin, referring to the state-of-the-art animated background scenery that complement and synchronize with every aspect of each piece, including the costumes, colours, choreography, music, and storytelling, and often interacting with the dancers on the stage.
“The way it comes off the two-dimensional to the three-dimensional, the people coming off the 2D screen onto 3D is quite incredible. The timing of that has to be perfect to make it work,” she said.
“I liked the whole storyline behind it, the fact that you are learning a bit more as you see it. The dancing is about learning a story. I really liked that aspect of it as well,” she added.
“It’s quite inspiring,” Ms. Ferrarin said of the show.
Reporting by NTD Television and Cindy Chan