TORONTO—In the words of Nataliya Apryshkina, a former professional contemporary ballet dancer from Ukraine, there are not many dancers who can perform the challenging movements in classical Chinese dance that she witnessed at the Shen Yun Performing Arts show she attended on April 23 at the Sony Centre.
Yet, the Shen Yun dancers performed the challenging movements seamlessly and with synchronicity.
“It’s very difficult. The technique is amazing. Because I was a professional dancer I know how hard it is,” Ms. Apryshkina said.
According to Shen Yun’s website, classical Chinese dance is at the heart of what Shen Yun does. “Known for its incredible flips and spins, [classical Chinese dance] is one of the most rigorous and expressive art forms in the world,” says the website.
Ms. Apryshkina said she had always wanted to see Shen Yun, not only because of the dance and artistic aspect of it, but also to see the age-old Chinese culture presented on stage.
“It’s amazing—the culture is amazing, the dance is amazing. The [female dancers] are so beautiful … spiritual, I can even say. It’s so beautiful.”
The spirituality inherent in Chinese culture as shown through the performance is often cited by audience members. Shen Yun’s performances are rich with values and principles from China’s divinely inspired culture—values such as benevolence and justice, respect for the heavens, and divine retribution.
Ms. Apryshkina said she loved seeing China’s history played out onstage, and was amazed how she could follow the storylines easily through the dance performances. She also noted the striking music played by the orchestra accompanying the dances, and the vocal performances by Shen Yun’s award-winning vocalists who use the bel-canto style to sing Chinese lyrics.
“I feel the energy, I feel meditation, relaxation. It’s so beautiful,” she said.
“I feel everything—the movement, beauty, and spirituality—everything.”
She said everyone should come and see the performance, and not just once, as Shen Yun brings completely new programming to the stage every year.
Tetiana Iashchenko, also a dancer originally from Ukraine, said she enjoyed the “charisma” of classical Chinese dance.
Talking specifically about the female dancers, she said they’re “feminine and they are like flowers. They’re beautiful.”
But it’s not just the outer appearance and the movements that make the Shen Yun dancers stand out, she noted.
“They are special—not just professional, but I think they are special inside.”
Shen Yun, Ms. Iashchenko added, is a performance that is truly one of a kind, and cannot been seen anywhere else.
“It’s breathtaking, it’s unique.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Omid Ghoreishi
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s International Company is currently touring Eastern Canada. For more information, visit Shen Yun Performing Arts.
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.