Retired Principal and Teacher Enjoy Shen Yun Dances and Music

April 11, 2012 Updated: April 11, 2012
Retired principal Ron Spence
Retired principal Ron Spence at the opening performance of Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium on Tuesday, April 10. (Courtesy of NTD Television)

EDMONTON, Canada—Shen Yun Performing Arts dazzled a full-house audience at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium who came to see the world’s premier Chinese classical dance and music company.

The production was “terrific,” said retired principal Ron Spence.

“The technique is so exact,” he said, drawing parallels between ballet and classical Chinese dance presented by Shen Yun.

According to the Shen Yun website, classical Chinese dance is one of the most comprehensive dance systems in the world, alongside ballet.

Adding to the experience for Mr. Spence was how Shen Yun’s talented dancers performed the physically demanding dance movements seamlessly.

Mr. Spence highlighted “the softness of the dancers” as something that stood out for him, noting their ability to “make it so fluid that it seems almost like a pitter or a patter sort of thing rather than almost the exact step.”

“It just flows from one [movement] into the next.”

Pat Spence, a retired teacher, had similar praise.

“I think it’s incredible, I’m very impressed by the movement and the dancing. It’s so synchronized and the fluidity of the movements is incredible, truly enjoying it,” she said.

“Everyone, the lightness on their feet and the rhythm that they have and everyone working together, the concentration that they have in their movements and yet looking so relaxed and natural, it’s incredible,” Ms. Spence added.

After seeing Shen Yun, Ms. Spence said she felt “lighter and happier.”

“They’ve really made my evening very well,” she said.

In addition to the dances, Ms. Spence said she also enjoyed the vocalists and the music played by the Shen Yun Performing Arts Orchestra that combines classical western and traditional Chinese instruments.

“I enjoyed the singers, the tenor was incredible, he’s beautiful to listen to. Pianist is amazing, I love music so all of it is really good for me to listen to,” Ms. Spence said.

Calling the orchestra “incredible,” she added, “They’re just bringing to life nature, [that] is what I can hear, and the different sounds of nature coming through the music.”

The music was also a favourite for Mr. Spence.

“I loved the soprano, the range that she had,” he said, referring to vocalist Geng Haolan.

He said he saw themes of “the divine and the earth” in the music, something different from what he has experienced in other performances.

“It gives a lot of a play on life and I like that, something that I haven’t thought as much about in the entertainment that we get in a lot of the programs and the shows that we watch,” Mr. Spence said.

Garry Popowich
Garry Popowich at the opening performance of Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium on Tuesday, April 10. (Courtesy of NTD Television)


‘It was just fantastic’

Garry Popowich, retired from 31 years’ working in the provincial government in education, was among the enthusiastic audience at the Jubilee.

“It was just fantastic. I was just amazed by the choreography, the costumes, the stories,” he said, especially complimenting “the finesse in the dancing, the movements, the fluidity, and the fact that they demonstrate a very high degree of coordination and articulation in their moves and the response in terms of the music.”

“They’re in harmony together and it’s just a delight to watch them,” Mr. Popowich praised the performers.

“I was in a deficit position in terms of not really realizing how rich the culture is until I saw this performance,” he added.

“It’s just outstanding.”

Reporting by NTD Television and Omid Ghoreishi.

Shen Yun Performing Arts has three equally large companies touring the world. Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company will stage one more performance at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium in Edmonton on Wednesday Apr. 11 before moving on to perform in Regina on Apr. 13.

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