TORONTO—“The dancing is amazing, it really is incredible,” said Barbara Ivey during the intermission of Shen Yun Performing Arts’ first show this year at the Canon Theatre on Friday.
“It’s quite unbelievable.”
Ms. Ivey is a director for the Charles H. Ivey Foundation which gives grants to a variety of charities with a focus on Southwestern Ontario, especially the London area. Last year the foundation gave nearly $200,000 to about 30 charities, many in the arts, health, and environment sectors.
“It is very interesting. I think it’s very colourful, it’s very upbeat. It’s a very different culture from what we grow up with,” she said.
Based in New York, Shen Yun is comprised mainly of ethnic Chinese who grew up in the west. The dance company tours with an orchestra that combines traditional Chinese and classical western instruments.
The group performs a wide variety of pieces, from folk dances of China’s diverse ethnicities to classical Chinese dances presenting the myths and legends from the Middle Kingdom’s rich 5,000-year history. Shen Yun describes as its mission the revival of the essence of traditional Chinese performing arts.
For Ms. Ivey, that variety was particularly enjoyable and she said she was impressed by the leaps and tumbling moves as well as the grace of the dancers.
“The dancing is fabulous. It is very colourful and very spectacular. Everything is very colourful—the costumes and the backdrops, it is like ‘wow.’ And it is colour combinations that we don’t use here, it is very vibrant colours, it is not North American. It is great, very interesting.”
Shen Yun will perform three more shows at the Canon Theatre over the weekend. For more information, please visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.