Lawyer Lauds Shen Yun’s ‘Beautiful Stories’

January 8, 2014 Updated: January 10, 2014

MONTREAL, Canada—Lawyer Robert Astell took his 9-year-old daughter on a journey through 5,000 years of divinely-inspired Chinese culture on Tuesday, all from their theatre seats at Place des Arts.

The two came to see Shen Yun Performing Arts—the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music company.

Mr. Astell, a partner in the Montreal based law firm Astell, Lachance, Du Sablon, De Sua (ALDD), praised Shen Yun’s performance that night.

“It’s a beautiful display of colours and very well-choreographed movements, very well organized,” said Mr. Astell.

He particularly noted the story-based dances.

“They are beautiful pieces, beautiful stories being told.”

New York-based Shen Yun was formed in 2006 with the mission to revive China’s nearly lost traditional culture, a heritage that has been systematically destroyed during decades of communist rule.

The performance includes 20 individual presentations—each one capturing the essence of the culture by showcasing a different dynasty, ethnic group, legendary tale, or modern reality from the middle kingdom.

Mr. Astell was struck by the diversity of China’s different ethnic groups showcased in Shen Yun—from Mongolians of the northern steppes to the Yao people of the southwest river valley.

“I found it very beautiful, very, very special,” he said.

He was also impressed by the elaborate costume designs and their intriguing colour combinations.

“The costumes are flamboyant, the colours are beautiful,” he said. “They make me think of [Chinese] deserts—they have the colours of fruits and vegetables.”

According to the Shen Yun website the costume designers use bright colours that aim to achieve “harmonic balance and contrast.”

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

Overall, Mr. Astell came away from the performance with a deeper understanding of China’s rich culture and history.

“I’m discovering something new,” he said.

Reporting by Nathalie Dieul and Justina Wheale.

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

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.