Lawyer: Shen Yun ‘Very professionally done’

April 11, 2012 Updated: August 14, 2015

EDMONTON, Canada—Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium was buzzing on Tuesday evening as it welcomed Shen Yun Performing Arts, the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music company.

Dan Stachnik, a litigator, and partner in the Edmonton law firm, Miller Thomson, was in attendance for the opening night and was delighted by his first Shen Yun experience.

“I enjoyed the show very much,” said Mr. Stachnik, who has been practicing law in Edmonton for over 30 years.

“It’s very good—the special effects, great dancing—very artistic.”

Mr. Stachnik was impressed by the professionalism and talent of Shen Yun’s creators and performers.

“It’s all well put together, it’s very professionally done; whoever did it is very talented,” he said.

New York-based Shen Yun was formed in 2006 by a group of top overseas Chinese performing artists. The company’s mission is to revive 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture through the medium of classical Chinese dance and folk dance, according to Shen Yun website.

Mr. Stachnik was touched by the operatic singing performances in the show.

Shen Yun soloists perform a singing style called bel canto, one of the world’s most difficult forms to master due to its extremely high registers.

The style is made even more difficult, because it is performed in Chinese and needs to incorporate the proper articulation and diction of the Chinese language, the website says.

“The singing was really well done,” said Mr. Stachnik, adding he appreciated the English translation of the song’s meaning, which appeared as subtitles on the digital backdrops.

“I liked the idea of translating the words into English so you could follow along.”

“When you hear the voice but also see the message behind it, it resonates a lot more with the listener.”

According to the Shen Yun website all musical pieces in the performance are original compositions and the lyrics aim to reflect on the meaning of human existence.

“Brimming with philosophical reflection about human life and deep layers of meaning, [the lyrics] traverse the boundaries of nation, race, and culture and have been fondly received and appreciated the world over,” the website reads.

One of Mr. Stachnik’s favourite dances was a piece entitled, How the Monkey King Came to Be.

Based on a classical Chinese novel Journey to the West, the Monkey King dance features Shen Yun’s trademark digital backdrops.

The backdrops interact with the performers to add context to each dance-story and create the illusion that performers can literally fly on and off the stage.

“They did a great interaction with the scenery, and then converting it into a live performance,” said Mr. Stachnik.

Reporting by Fany Qiu and Justina Wheale.

Shen Yun Performing Arts has three equally large companies touring the world. Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company will perform in Regina on Apr. 13.

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