OTTAWA, Canada—Former rhythmic gymnast-turned-business woman Teresa Scrivens barely left Ottawa’s National Arts Centre on Jan. 3, after seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts, before making plans to come back and see the show again.
“[Shen Yun] had story, dance, emotion, colour as well as culture,” she said. “I’m going to come and see it again.”
Ms. Scrivens competed nationally in rhythmic gymnastics, giving her insight on what it takes to excel among the world’s best athletes. She said she was floored by the Shen Yun dancers’ athletic prowess and flawless execution.
“Everybody was choreographed perfectly,” she said. “They moved at the same time, in sync. Nobody was off, there weren’t any mistakes.”
New York-based Shen Yun is the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music company, with a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture and art forms.
According to the Shen Yun website, classical Chinese dance is a complete independent system of dance, passed down through dynasties and refined over thousands of years. Training in classical Chinese dance emphasizes form, physical expression and specific postures, and also involves combinations of leaps, turns, flips, spins, and other aerial and tumbling techniques.
Ms. Scrivens, who is currently the president of networking firm Business over Breakfast Canada, was impressed to learn from Shen Yun’s bilingual emcees that gymnastics first originated in classical Chinese dance.
“It’s phenomenal. The fact that [the audience] is educated on that now, its great,” she said, adding she adored the show’s story-based dances.
“The dancing was phenomenal. I was really moved by the dancing.”
A notable piece in the performance for Ms. Scrivens was a dance entitled “Lotuses in Bloom.” In this piece, dancers with long silken fans emulate fairies scattering flowers from the heavens. According to the Shen Yun program book, Eastern culture views the lotus as a symbol of purity and divine perfection.
“So beautiful, so emotional, I very much liked that [dance],” said Ms. Scrivens.
She was particularly moved by the Shen Yun female dancers’ grace and skill.
“They have such great appearance and showmanship. They really brought the audience in, not just with their moves but with their expression as well. It was very enticing,” she said, adding the male dancers were also “very strong.”
“They were very assertive in what they were doing, very confident, and it showed very much.”
Ms. Scrivens was also struck by classical Chinese dance’s gentle expression, which gave the impression the dancers were weightless, and left her feeling a sense of “serene peacefulness.”
“It’s very soft. Everything is very gentle, executed perfectly. Just beautiful,” she said.
Reporting by NTD Television and Justina Wheale
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. Shen Yun’s World Company finished in Ottawa on Saturday and will now go on to perform in Montreal.
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.