HAMILTON, Canada—Shen Yun Performing Arts is known for its colourful backdrops, dancing, and music, an artistic feast that draws an eclectic audience ranging from business people to artists like Celeste Pimm.
Ms. Pimm is a musician and visual artist. She also models through Elite Model Management, one of the top model agencies in the world.
On Sunday, she came to Shen Yun’s second show at Hamilton Place Theatre with her mother Nancy Woods, a folk musician who also works as a teacher.
Ms. Pimm is studying computer arts and music at Concordia and has already achieved some recognition, being featured by NXNE Art 2013.
Speaking during the intermission, she noted the interactions between the dancers onstage and the digitally projected backdrops that extend the range of the stage, noting the combination of art and technology.
“It’s interesting to see how the performance and the visuals, how they’ve incorporated it,” she said.
Ms. Woods agreed.
“It’s great the way [a character on the backdrop] disappears and then the person jumps onstage. Then they’re instantly live,” said Ms. Woods.
It’s an interaction that lets Shen Yun stage story-based dances that draw on China’s innumerable myths and legends.
Ms. Pimm noted that the costume design and the animated backdrops had to be developed together to match the colours and costuming.
Ms. Woods said the show was “visually impressive.”
“We’re both musicians and love music,” said Ms. Woods, who plays acoustic guitar.
“The orchestra is really good,” added Ms. Pimm, an electronic musician.
The pair discussed their curiosity with the instruments that make up the orchestra. Shen Yun’s orchestra is unique for having a Western orchestra play the foundation, with traditional Chinese instruments leading the melodies.
Shen Yun was founded on a mission to revive 5,000 years of divinely inspired Chinese culture. Many of China’s artistic traditions have been nearly lost due to their spiritual themes being repressed under the forced atheism of the current communist regime, particularly during the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s and 1970s.
“It’s super depressing to see that that beautiful culture has been ground down,” said Ms. Woods. “It’s good to have a group of people that are trying to fight that and trying to bring [the culture] back.”
With files from Matthew Little
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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.