Shen Yun ‘A Wonderful Experience,’ Says Entertainment Executive

January 23, 2015 Updated: June 25, 2015

TORONTO—Shen Yun Performing Arts took its audience on a marvellous journey of colour and culture, according to entertainment executive Donna MacNeil Thursday night after seeing the classical Chinese dance production at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.

“I thought it was wonderful from start to end. And it was very nice how the flow was built—the different use of colours, the different styles, different tempos. It was fantastic,” she said. 

Ms. MacNeil, VP of marketing and strategic development at Mark Animation, is a veteran children’s entertainment executive. She was previously the VP and group publisher of Kidscreen, a trade publication for the children’s entertainment industry. Prior to that, she was senior director of promotional marketing at robotics, toy, and digital gaming company Spin Master.

“It was wonderful,” she said of the performance. Shen Yun stages mainly classical Chinese dance rounded out by ethnic and folk dances from the Middle Kingdom’s diverse regions and ethnicities. Ms. MacNeil said it showed the history and diversity of China. 

“I thought it was terrific. There were two hosts that guided you through the show. And the little explanations of each of the performance before, I thought were fantastic, so it really gave insight and you understood a little bit more about what the dance was that you were watching, so you could appreciate it a little bit more,” she said.

“It was interesting for me to see the different groups, different dances, different fashion styles, the different costumes, and music and movement from different groups and different ages. That was fantastic,” she added.

“I was just saying to my colleagues that it’s really difficult to pick your favourite dance. Every time a different dance started—’that one’s my favourite, no that one’s my favourite, no that one’s my favourite.’ So it was wonderful. Beautiful evening.” 

In addition to its dancers and musicians, Shen Yun is known for its digitally projected backdrop and meticulously crafted costumes, both of which bring vivid colours to the stage.

“The colours were beautiful, absolutely beautiful,” said Ms. MacNeil.

“I’d recommend it to any of my friends. It was a wonderful experience and I definitely will come and I’ll bring friends and family with me for sure.”

“I think it’s very important, it’s very spiritual. I thought it was very peaceful, a very warm and calm feeling,” she noted.

Accompanying the dances, Shen Yun’s orchestra is unique for having a Western symphony provide the foundation while traditional Chinese instruments lead the melodies. Ms. MacNeil complimented the combination.

“The music was fantastic. The music was absolutely fantastic. The erhu was for sure my favourite. Absolutely my favourite,” she said.

Reporting by NTD Television

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform around the world. Shen Yun’s International Company will perform in Toronto until Jan. 25. For more information, visit

Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reaction since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.