‘I think Chinese culture is fantastic’

January 11, 2014 2:10 pm Last Updated: January 11, 2014 2:10 pm

MONTRÉAL, Canada—Shen Yun Performing Arts’ presentation of China’s ancient culture and values is what drew Eric Cunningham and his 7-year-old daughter, Maya, to come to see the show at Montréal’s Place des Arts on Jan. 8.

Mr. Cunningham was given tickets to the performance as a gift from his wife’s parents who are Chinese-Jamaican.

“I think Chinese culture is fantastic. My little girl here is Chinese too, her grandparents are Chinese. It’s nice to show her a bit of Chinese culture. … This is a good opportunity for her to experience this culture,” said Mr. Cunningham, director of operations for CitiFinancial.

“I think the choreography is fantastic,” Mr. Cunningham said, adding that his daughter loves to dance.

Shen Yun performances feature award-winning classically trained dancers, a unique orchestra that combines Chinese and Western instruments, groundbreaking animated backdrops, and hundreds of colourful handmade costumes—something that particularly caught Mr Cunningham’s attention.

“The costumes are fantastic, that’s what I find interesting,” he said.

According to Shen Yun’s website, the New York-based company’s costume artists collect countless designs of traditional attire, ranging from those of emperors, ministers, and generals to the everyday clothing of the common people. They use bright colours to tailor and recreate hundreds of new pieces each season.

“The designers stress harmonic balance and contrast,” the website says. “Their objective is an authentic presentation of the attire that comes from China’s divinely inspired traditional culture, and a consummate stage effect.”

Violinist Stéphanie Laurin also had high praise for the Jan. 8 performance.

“It’s amazing,” she said, noting the production’s “visual beauty” and how the live orchestral music and dance worked together as a unit.

“I find it fun,” she said. “It is well done, and the music is beautiful, and beautiful dance.”

Reporting by Nathalie Dieul and Joan Delaney

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s World Company will perform in Montreal until Jan. 9 before going on to Hamilton. 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.