Jewellery Designer Enchanted by Shen Yun’s Folk Dance Finery

January 9, 2015 Updated: May 19, 2015

MONTREAL—Shen Yun Performing Arts is known for its grand and spectacular displays, but what enchanted jewellery designer Ruth Stattner about the performance was its attention to the smallest details.

Ms. Stattner attended the performance at Place Des Arts with her daughter on Thursday, Jan. 8. Owner of Gem Set Jewels and a designer for over 50 years, her trained eye was transfixed by the costumes and jewellery on stage.

“It’s just fantastic—a blend of beautiful colours, and so harmonious,” she said. “The finishing touches—they just bring everything together.”

New York-based Shen Yun is a Chinese dance and music company on a mission to revive 5,000 years of divinely-inspired culture. Featuring story-based dances, as well as folk and ethnic dances from China’s varied regions, Shen Yun is a journey through ancient China and its sacred traditional culture.

Ms. Stattner was impressed by the many ethnic groups featured in the performance, each with distinct dance styles, costumes, and character.

According to the Shen Yun website, “China has 55 officially recognized ethnic minorities, and their distinct ways of life reflect discrepancies in local topography, climate, and religious tradition. It is no surprise that these factors are also deeply embedded into each ethnicity’s dance style.”

In one such group dance, In a Village of the Hmong, lovely ladies of the Hmong ethnic group dance to cheerful drumbeats. Each movement is enhanced by their elaborate silver jewellery, swinging and tinkling along with their steps.

“The costumes are used as part of the movements,” said Ms. Stattner. “It was beautiful.”

Ms. Stattner has her own unique experience with exotic jewellery through work with freshwater pearls from China, Tahitian black colour pearls, and Tibetan silver pendants, among others. She enjoyed Shen Yun’s dance Snow-Capped Celebration, a joyful and athletic Tibetan dance set atop the Himalayan mountains.

Ms. Stattner said Shen Yun’s high-tech digital backdrops enhanced the piece with the mountains and Lhasa’s grand Potala Palace projected behind the strong male dancers.

“The use of the screen … and coordinating with the dancers—marvellous,” she said. “Very good choreography.”

“Each dance tells a story,” said Ms. Stattner, adding the performance was “Excellent, beautiful.”

With reporting by Natalie Dieul and Justina Wheale.

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform around the world. For more information, visit

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.