BALTIMORE—Vincent Chan, the architect who designed Canada’s National Arts Center in Ottawa, and his son David, also an architect, attended Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Lyric Theater in Baltimore on Jan. 18.
For all the designing they’ve done, however, they felt the buildings of ancient China depicted in Shen Yun’s digital backdrop exhibited a level of skill that, at least according to David, can’t be replicated.
“That architecture is something that you can’t match,” he said in an interview after the performance on Jan. 18. “It’s unparalleled. The intricacy of it, it’s out of the world.”
Shen Yun uses a vividly animated projected backdrop behind the dancers to extend the range of the stage to heavenly realms and the beings that live there, as well as scenes from the human world and natural settings.
Vincent Chan, who is of Chinese ancestry but was born in and has lived in Canada for over 50 years, said: “It was fantastic. The scenery’s great. And the choreography is also amazing, too. And the interesting stories, and legends about Chinese culture and history, we enjoy it. I think it’s a great show.”
Both of them said they felt a strong resonance with the fact that Shen Yun Performing Arts focuses on depicting the essence of traditional Chinese culture.
“I think that the expression of movement and beauty reflect the quality of our people,” Vincent said. “The lessons that we learned show the history, show the stories about China,” he added. These include the story of Tang Seng, the monk who travels to India with the valiant but impetuous Monkey King and others to collect Buddhist scriptures.
Vincent also referred to “the lesson we learned from the three characters” referred to in Shen Yun: that is, Zhen, Shan, Ren, tenets of Chinese thought, which mean truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance. “It’s very rewarding. At the end, the ladies went to Heavens; it was very profound.”
Vincent added: “It teaches people to be good, to be kind, and to be patient … I appreciate beauty, arts, and the artistic form of the dancers.”
Regarding the fact that Shen Yun was performing at the Lyric Theatre, Vincent Chan said: “I think [they] picked a great location … Imagine it at the Kennedy Center, or the Lincoln Center—the impact will be more overwhelming.”
Shen Yun Performing Arts, the premiere Chinese classical performing arts company, is in fact completing a nine-night run at the Lincoln Center. And it will be welcoming audiences at the Kennedy Center beginning Jan. 23.
Reporting by Jane Pang
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit Shen Yun Performing Arts.
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.