TORONTO—Karen Sawyer saw Shen Yun Performing Arts for the first time on Sunday afternoon at the Sony Centre and the former dancer said she was swept away by the dance titled Lotuses in Bloom.
“That was just stunning, the fluidity of it, and it gets back to how important the costumes are for the entire tradition of [dance],” said Ms. Sawyer, who was a dancer for 18 years and currently works as a manager for VIA Rail.
The dance paid tribute to the lotus, which in the East is a symbol of purity and divine perfection.
Shen Yun was founded on a mission to revive the 5,000-year divinely inspired culture of China on stage through the performing arts.
“There was a lot of hand posturing, and the costume is very important to the dancing as well. You could see the long sleeves and how that incorporates in, and there’s the small footwork.”
Ms. Sawyer noticed how light the dancers were on the stage as they performed leaps and tumbling techniques in many of the numbers.
“It’s very, very fluid and they are very, very soft on their feet, and it’s seamless, it’s not tacky, it’s not overwhelming. It flows,” she said.
“It was really, really beautiful, you could see the strength of the technique and the traditional and they work very seamlessly together. It was beautiful.”
Ms. Sawyer also noted the strength and definitiveness of the dancing technique.
“The choreography is amazing. Even when there’s a soloist in this you have a whole stage full [of dancers]. And your eye has to look at the entire [scene]. You don’t really focus in on one dancer. It’s a group sort of entity, and that is really nice,” she said.
She was accompanied by her husband at the performance on Sunday afternoon.
“My husband was really keen on the chopsticks, the Mongolian Chopsticks, and the athleticism of it, the chopsticks, and the gentlemen were so strong.”
In that piece male dancers perform a traditional Mongolian dance in which they beat out a crisp staccato beat with handfuls of chopsticks.
The show’s two masters of ceremonies give a brief introduction at the beginning of each piece, and on the Shen Yun website visitors can find more information, such as about the technical skills required by some of the dances.
“Technical skill in classical Chinese dance refers to a series of highly difficult techniques, including jumping and leaping, turning, and flipping. These techniques serve to enhance bearing and form.”
The culture displayed by Shen Yun shares with Canadians the importance of tranquility and reflection, Ms. Sawyer noted.
“I loved the dancing, I loved the costumes,” she said.
Reporting by NTD Television and Pam McLennan
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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.