“I love the colour and the motion and the story—very good.”
Now retired, Mr. McElree worked for the government both federally and provincially. He held a number of senior positions in Saskatchewan’s department of post-secondary education, including assistant deputy minister.
“Loved the music, very traditional,” he added.
New York-based Shen Yun features a unique orchestra that combines classical Eastern instruments leading the melodies coupled with the grandeur of a Western philharmonic orchestra.
“It’s some of the traditional, some of the new, and appeals to both the old and the young,” said Mr. McElree.
Each year, Shen Yun tours the world showcasing traditional Chinese culture through music and dance.
“It’s very entertaining,” Mr. McElree said of the performance, which features dancers, vocalists, and instrumentalists, portraying Chinese myths and legends, both ancient and modern, through grand-scale dances, lively drumming acts, and vocal solos.
Mr. McElree’s friend, Susan Armitage, said she was impressed by every piece.
“Oh, loved them, loved them,” she said, noting that it takes an enormous amount of time and training to perform at such a high calibre.
“People might have an appreciation—but a lot of people don’t understand how much time is spent [on such a performance]. My son is a performer, and lots of time, lots of time [goes into training].”
“I love it, I love it. It’s excellent,” she said of the show overall.
“Lots of colours … so much talent.”
“Quite amazing,” was how Mr. McElree described Shen Yun’s unique animated backdrop that enhances each piece played out on stage.
“I love the motion, very much so. I love the background in terms of the motion in the background, and the transition to the real life.”
New York-based Shen Yun was founded in 2006 with the mission of breathing new life into China’s traditional culture and arts that were almost destroyed as a result of years of communist rule.
Mr. McElree was pleased with the portrayal of the ancient culture.
“I love it. The more different culture we can be exposed to the better; very good.”
Reporting by Omid Ghoreishi and Joan Delaney.
Shen Yun Performing Arts has three equally large companies touring the world. Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company will next travel to New York to perform at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center from Apr. 18 to Apr. 22.
For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.