HAMILTON, Canada—When Eva, Sylvia, and Alexandra Makk, three generations of “the first family of the art world,” experienced Shen Yun Performing Arts for the first time at Hamilton Place Theatre on Dec. 30, 2016, they were enchanted by the vision displayed before their eyes.
“Beautiful, beautiful! I’ve never seen such a beautiful thing,” said Eva Makk, the matriarch of the family.
Mrs. Makk has been called “the world’s foremost living impressionist painter,” celebrated for her legacy of monumental murals in cathedrals and churches on two continents. She has been winning awards and exhibiting in museums and galleries for over 50 years and demand for her work continues to increase.
It was no surprise that Mrs. Makk appreciated New York-based Shen Yun’s state-of-the-art digital backdrops. Like magical windows to completely different realms, they create vividly animated vistas that extend the stage and transport the audience to other worlds.
“These digital backdrop designs complement and synchronize all aspects of the performance: the characters, colour of the costumes, specific dance movements, props, lighting, the story being told, particular notes played by the orchestra, and special audio effects,” the Shen Yun website states.
In fact, the integration between the digital background and stage performance seen in Shen Yun performances is a system invented by Shen Yun that recently received a U.S. patent.
As an artist excelling in murals, Mrs. Makk had a special appreciation for these moving images that incorporate all of the various elements of the performance.
“I loved the backdrop and how you had people in the backdrop and they would pop up on stage,” she said. “I enjoyed all of them. It’s beautiful, beautiful!”
“I love it, every moment,” she said, noting how happy she was to have seen Shen Yun.
Her daughter, Sylvia Makk, a landscape artist, lamented missing Shen Yun when it last performed in Hawaii where she currently lives, and said she was very happy to finally see it in Hamilton. She said Shen Yun left her with a very positive feeling.
“I enjoyed it a lot; it was amazing,” she said.
Shen Yun was founded in 2006 by a group of elite Chinese artists with a shared vision and passion—to revive the genuine traditional Chinese culture and share it with the world through the universal language of dance and music. It is a 5,000-year-old cultural heritage, believed to be inspired by the divine, that was almost lost following decades of communist rule.
Sylvia said the family was originally from Hungary, a former communist country, and she felt empathy with the Chinese people’s struggle for freedom as depicted by two of Shen Yun’s dance stories telling of the plight and peaceful faith of Falun Gong practitioners currently being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime.
She said it was good to see that displayed on stage as part of the overall artistic presentation.
“I’m very happy that the show educates the public, very important.”
Sylvia added that Shen Yun left her with good memories and that she would encourage her friends to see the show. In fact, “a lot of my friends have seen it,” she said.
Alexandra Makk, Mrs. Makk’s granddaughter-in-law, also loved the beauty of Shen Yun.
“It was amazing, the talent that was there was incredible,” said the young aspiring artist and social media guru.
“It’s something I’ve never seen before, that was really cool,” she said. “All the bright colours … all the effects with the skirts and handkerchiefs, it was really amazing.”
Commenting on the depiction of human rights abuses by the communist regime in China, Alexandra said she was shocked and that it made her want to do her part to help.
Reporting by Dongyu Teng and Leigh Smith
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has five touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit Shen Yun Performing Arts.
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.