“We were just absolutely amazed with the performance. We're stunned with the choreography. We loved the audience as well, that participated so much during the performance.”
As a musician, Mr. Roach was particularly interested in Shen Yun's vocalists and innovative East-meets-West symphony orchestra which combines both Western and traditional Chinese musical instruments.
“The live orchestra, the mixture of the Eastern and the Western was just terrific. I want a CD; that is what I was here [in the lobby] looking for … I can't help but want to do pieces of this with my school. I would love to bring that tradition even further to the Western feel. So I see a good mix of cultures together. It made us feel very welcome as well.”
“We thought the singers were amazing—they brought the house down,” he added.
Mr. Roach said his family was impressed by the complexity of the dances and that the show offered a great experience for his children.
"It is a good show, a really great show. We are really interested in coming back. My daughters are musically inclined as well, and they absolutely loved it. They want to come back to any show these guys do. Really proud to be here."
Mr. Roach thought about some of the highlights of the performances and came up with a couple moments that really stood out for him.
"I loved the drums, so all the drummers and the men that were going at the very end of the first half, that was my favourite. And the last song the tenor sang, that was fantastic."
The drumming piece, Drummers of the Tang Court, features the male Shen Yun dancers stomping and dancing across the stage playing thunderous Tang Dynasty drums.
"I guess I have to add one more, when the little girl came out at the end again, I must admit to crying again, because that was very moving—that whole dramatization of what is happening over there, that was very moving for me."
Mr. Roach was referring to Heaven Awaits Us Despite Persecution, one of two dances in the performance that depict the persecution of Falun Gong in China today. The piece depicts the harrowing tale of a father who dies for his spiritual practice.
Mr. Roach heard about the show from friends at Brock University and told his teacher collegues as well, some of whom were also at the show.
Shen Yun Performing Arts will present two more shows in Toronto before it leaves Canada. The dance company is scheduled to return in January with its all-new 2010 program. For more information visit www.ShenYunPerformingArts.org.